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The Real Casualties Of War
Clutching her daughter's photograph to her breast, Rebecca throws back her head and wails. Fighters burst into her home and raped the 10-year-old girl before the helpless mother, leaving the child lying in a pool of blood and vomit - dead.
Women are raped every time fighting surges in this war-battered country, but aid workers say that this time it's on a scale impossible to calculate, or fathom.
Wild-eyed gunmen on both sides are going door to door, ransacking homes, beating and killing residents, and raping any women - or girls - they find.
"Those people are not human beings," sobs Rebecca, who has found shelter in a friend's yard. July 20, the day Rebecca's daughter turned 10, began with the mother waking the sleeping child with a chorus of "Happy Birthday".
Rebecca gathered her son and a friend's 14-year-old girl with them for Sunday prayers. Without warning, government fighters started pounding at the gate.
When Rebecca (42) refused them entry, they forced their way inside and started carting away the family's belongings.
One man - barely in his 20s - smashed Rebecca's head with a hammer and ripped off her clothes. When he realised she was menstruating, he kicked her.
Through it all, the 10-year-old held on tightly crying "Mommy! Mommy!" Rebecca says - clutching the spot on her blouse as if she can still feel the child's tug. Another fighter - going by the name Black Dog - ripped the child from her mother and threw her to the floor.
"When he got through with her, I saw blood, I saw vomit, I saw toilet," she says, moaning rhythmically. "He raped her to death."
As her daughter lay on the floor, another man grabbed the 14-year-old, but she fought and kicked. Frustrated, he forced himself into her mouth.
The fighters took everything from the house, even the family album. Rebecca has only one picture left of her daughter, taken when she was 11 months old - a solemn child with bright bows in her hair, standing unsteadily with the help of a piece of furniture.
Falling to her knees, Rebecca sobs: "Just kill me. I want to die."