Iraq to remove Baghdad security walls
www.chinaview.cn 2009-08-06 17:35:55   Print

     BAGHDAD, Aug. 6 (Xinhua) -- The Iraqi government will remove all the concrete walls which were set up in the past years to help reduce sectarian violence in Baghdad streets within 40 days, an Interior Ministry source said on Thursday.

    "A decision by the cabinet said that all the walls will be removed from major streets and secondary ones in Baghdad within 40days," the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

    On Wednesday, the Iraqi state-run television of Iraqia, quoted Qasim Atta, spokesman for Baghdad operations command, as saying that "the walls will be taken off major thoroughfares and secondary roads in the capital, and that no exception will be made in any place in Baghdad."

    The move by the government is aimed to show that the Iraqi security forces are capable to take the responsibility of Baghdad security by its own after more than a month of U.S. troops' withdrawal from cities and towns in line with a security pact signed late last year between Baghdad and Washington.

    Baghdadis see the security walls, which go up around their neighborhoods, market places, banks and street, as a daily reminder of Baghdad turned into a prison-like city in which its communities are separated from each other.

    The walls removal also came as part of a government push to restore the feeling of normalcy among Iraqis and to shore up public confidence ahead of national parliamentary elections scheduled for January.

    The violence has dramatically dropped in Baghdad and other Iraqi cities during the recent months despite sporadic attacks nationwide.

Special Report: Tension escalates in Iraq

Editor: Deng Shasha
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