Sheik Jamal al-Sudani leads a group of volunteers with one of the most solemn tasks in Iraq: Collecting and burying the hundreds of unclaimed dead every month and giving them a proper burial.
"I only think about one thing: That one day, I will face the same fate as these people have faced, and will there be someone to take care of me and bury me, too?" the sheik told CNN.
The discovery of slain bodies in bustling, war-torn Baghdad is a daily fact of life, as ever-present as the lively markets, the solemn mosques, the blinding sunrise and the soft sunset.
Many of the bodies of the slain men, women, and children -- found on the streets, in the sewers and in the ruins of bombings -- have never been claimed because some are so mangled and charred, they're unidentifiable.
As a result, many people have no idea whether their loved ones were killed or took flight to other cities. Others are afraid because they are Sunni and won't cross sectarian lines to claim the bodies at the Health Ministry morgue, controlled by Muqtada al-Sadr's hard-line Shiite followers. Read full article »
CNN's Youssif Basil, Tommy Evans, Michael Ware and Joe Sterling contributed to this report.