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Iraq Mulls Baghdad 'Security Fence'


Local television reported the concrete barrier will ring Baghdad, with checkpoints controlling access. (Getty image)

Iraqi defence ministry plans to build a "security fence" around Baghdad
to prevent anti-government fighters from entering the Iraqi capital,
according to local television reports.

The barrier will be made of concrete, topped by security cameras and other monitoring devices, reports said.

Trenches will replace the concrete wall in agricultural areas.

Eight checkpoints will control access to the capital, according to the report on Iraq's Al Iraqiyya television station.

on the fence is expected to conclude in mid-2011. Security officials
say they will remove checkpoints within Baghdad once the barrier is

Sectarian concerns

Wafiq al-Sammaraie, a former security adviser to Jalal Talabani, the
Iraqi president, said the fence was necessitated by demographic rather
than security concerns.

He told Al Jazeera the wall would prevent Sunni Arabs from entering Baghdad.

Security barriers have become a common part of the Iraqi landscape
over the last few years. Concrete walls and checkpoints carved up the
capital in 2006 and 2007, but failed to prevent dozens of fighters'
attacks in heavily-guarded areas.

American forces built a massive concrete wallin 2008 to seal off Sadr City, the largely Shia neighbourhood in Baghdad dominated by Muqtada al-Sadr.

The Iraqi government has also been building a fence along the
sparsely-populated Syrian border in a bid to cut off a popular crossing
route for fighters.


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