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NEWS | April 17, 2008

Town hall opens in Jurf as Sahkr

By Spc. Amanda McBride , 3rd Infantry Division Public Affairs

Sheikh Sabbah al-Janabi, a sheikh in the Janabi tribe and leader of Jurf as Sahkr, greets Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch, 3rd Infantry Division commander, prior to the grand opening of the Jurf as Sahkr Town Hall, April 15, in Jurf as Sahkr, Iraq. (Photo by Spc. Amanda McBride)
Sheikh Sabbah al-Janabi, a sheikh in the Janabi tribe and leader of Jurf as Sahkr, greets Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch, 3rd Infantry Division commander, prior to the grand opening of the Jurf as Sahkr Town Hall, April 15, in Jurf as Sahkr, Iraq. (Photo by Spc. Amanda McBride)

FOB KALSU, Iraq (April 17, 2008) — About 500 people gathered to commemorate the grand opening of the Jurf as Sahkr Town Hall, April 15, in Jurf as Sahkr, Iraq.

Leaders from the 3rd Infantry Division, Iraqi security forces and local officials were present for the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

“The opening of the Jurf town hall is just another indicator of the progress that continues to occur in the area,” said Col. Timothy Newsome, commander of 3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Inf. Div. “An area that this time last year was, in fact, a staging base for (al-Qaida in Iraq) operations in the middle of the Euphrates River Valley.”

Many buildings had been destroyed in the area due to insurgent violence. Local leaders were forced to use other locations throughout town to hold meetings and conduct government functions.

Sheikh Sabbah al-Janabi, a sheikh in the Janabi tribe and leader of Jurf as Sahkr, said there had been no suitable building since the violence. “With help from (coalition forces), we have been able to build this building in limited time.”

Through partnership with the civil affairs team attached to 3-7th Inf. Regt., residents of Jurf as Sahkr came together to build the town hall.

With funding provided by 4th BCT, 3rd Inf. Div., local contractors constructed the hall in four months.

The new building provides a place where all the city government branches can come together and have a permanent structure to work from.

The four-room building will house the town’s public works branch, including trash collection, sanitation and water, along with an office for Sheikh Sabbah.