Captain Byambaa Chinzorig is, perhaps not surprisingly, a little touchy about 1258 and all that. When Mongolian forces last came to Iraq, led by the great warrior Prince Hulagu, grandson of Genghis Khan, they sacked Baghdad, killed an estimated 800,000 people, brought to a bloody end the Abbasid caliphate and destroyed a vast array of ornate public buildings and a sophisticated irrigation system. Today, 745 years later, their plans are much more modest.Or so one hopes.
"We all know the history of the 13th century when the Mongolian soldiers captured Iraq but this time is completely different," said Capt Chinzorig, 30, a proud graduate of the Military University of Mongolia, Ulan Bator's equivalent of Sandhurst or West Point. "Of course, we have a different mission."
Tuesday, 30 September 2003
From the Grauniad :