Rep. Pence Compares Baghdad Market to Indiana

Some Baghdad shopkeepers are challenging the accounts of four U.S. lawmakers who visited their market to show it was safe. Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) compared the market to a "normal" one in Indiana. But a merchant told the Associated Press the area was sealed off and heavily protected by U.S. soldiers.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

And here's a footnote to the efforts to improve Baghdad's security. Some shopkeepers are challenging the accounts of four American lawmakers who visited their market to show it was safe. One was presidential candidate John McCain. Another was Indiana congressman Mike Pence.

Representative MIKE PENCE (Republican, Indiana): Thousands and thousands of Iraqis were moving about in regular everyday life like a normal outdoor market in Indiana in the summertime.

MONTAGNE: That account was challenged by Karim Abdullah(ph). He's a textile merchant who told the Associated Press that the visitors, quote, "sealed off the area, put themselves in flak jackets, and walked in the middle of tens of American soldiers."

The market has been the target of car bombs in the past, and yesterday it was the scene of sniper fire.

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