Friday, April 20, 2007

U.S. walls off Baghdad neighborhood

AP reports :

U.S. soldiers are building a three-mile wall to protect a Sunni Arab enclave surrounded by Shiite neighborhoods in a Baghdad area "trapped in a spiral of sectarian violence and retaliation," the military said.

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Related :

Divide and rule - America's plan for Baghdad


The New York Times reports :

"The wall has already drawn intense criticism from residents of the neighborhood, who say that it will increase sectarian tensions"


"A doctor in Adhamiya, Abu Hassan, said the wall would transform the residents into caged animals.

“It’s unbelievable that they treat us in such an inhumane manner,” he said in a telephone interview. “They’re trying to isolate us from other parts of Baghdad. The hatred will be much greater between the two sects.”


“The Americans and Iraqi government should be able to control it.” without building a wall, he said

The AP reports that Sunni residents are complaining, calling the wall "collective punishment", saying the construction was begun without the neighborhood council approval.

"This will make the whole district a prison. This is collective punishment on the residents of Azamiyah," said Ahmed al-Dulaimi, a 41-year-old engineer who lives in the area.


"Khalid Ibrahim, 45, said the Americans were working hard to divide Baghdad's neighborhoods _ something he said he wasn't sure was a good thing.

"This is good if it is temporary, to help the area with security problems. But if this wall stays for the long term, it will be a catastrophe for the residents and will restrict our movements," said Ibrahim, an Azamiyah resident who works at the Interior Ministry."

UPDATE : Al-Maliki: No Wall in Baghdad Community