Iraq starts construction of security wall around Baghdad

By IANS/RIA Novosti,

Baghdad : Iraqi authorities have started the construction of a security wall around the capital Baghdad, reports the country’s Al-Iraqiya TV citing a Baghdad security spokesperson.

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The concrete wall with eight checkpoints is to be completed in mid-2011.

It will be equipped with modern surveillance systems to “block terrorists and prevent them from getting into Baghdad”, Major General Qassim Atta was quoted as saying.

As soon as the construction is complete, the city’s authorities plan to remove checkpoints inside the city.

In 2006-2007, Baghdad was divided into several districts separated by numerous checkpoints and concrete fences in a bid to improve security. They caused traffic jams around the city but failed to prevent numerous terrorist attacks on the most heavily guarded districts of the Iraqi capital, including embassy zones.

Violence has been on surge in Iraq as the country struggles to form a government a month after controversial general elections.

According to media reports, about 10 car bomb attacks were reported in Baghdad in April alone, including those close to Spanish, German, Ukrainian, Egyptian and Iranian embassies. The blasts left over 100 dead.