In Baquba, 50km northeast of the capital, and capital of Diyala, residents say the Shia Badr Organisation, the armed wing of the politically dominant Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council (SIIC), has been dominant in the province since the early months of the occupation.
The Badr Organisation managed to fill leadership positions in city and province, while Sunni Iraqis remained largely unrepresented.
In this set-up, many sectarian killings have been carried out by the Badr Organisation, often under cover of the local police, residents told IPS.
Residents of this violence-plagued city told IPS that it is common for Iraqi police and army forces, most of whom are militiamen with the Badr Organisation, to raid homes of Sunnis during the night, and take away men who are later found dead in the street.
As a result, groups have begun to set up blocks to prevent police patrols from entering their districts at night. There have been several clashes in these districts between residents and people wearing police uniforms attempting to enter.
Day after day, trust in the Iraqi government and its security forces diminishes. This is in the face of increasing popular support for the Iraqi resistance. Local support for the resistance, particularly in Sunni areas, has risen as resistance groups began to protect residents from Badr Organisation death squads.
And thus, we move ever further away from ultimate "victory" in Iraq.