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Baghdad under total daylight curfew

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  • Greg Cannon
    http://reuters.myway.com/article/20060930/2006-09-30T115356Z_01_GEO743062_RTRIDST_0_NEWS-IRAQ-DC.html Baghdad under total daylight curfew Sep 30, 7:53 AM (ET)
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 30, 2006
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      Baghdad under total daylight curfew

      Sep 30, 7:53 AM (ET)
      By Peter Graff

      BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq imposed a total daylight
      curfew on Baghdad on Saturday, banning all movement,
      as U.S. forces said they had foiled a possible suicide
      plot to attack the city's sprawling "Green Zone"
      government compound.

      U.S. troops on Friday arrested a security guard at the
      home of the leader of the main Sunni political bloc.
      The U.S. military said on Saturday the man was
      suspected of planning car bomb attacks on the
      fortified zone.

      "Coalition force personnel detained an individual at
      the residence of Dr Adnan al-Dulaimi in Baghdad
      September 29. The detained individual is suspected of
      involvement in the planning of a multi-vehicle suicide
      operation inside Baghdad's International Zone," the
      military said in a statement.

      It said the man may have been linked to al Qaeda, and
      the plan might have been to use suicide vests in the
      attack. U.S. forces did not enter Dulaimi's house, but
      searched a security trailer there and the suspect's
      car, it said.

      Dulaimi leads the Accordance Front, the largest Sunni
      bloc in parliament, which is also housed inside the
      Green Zone.

      A senior official in the Front named the arrested man
      as Khudhar Farhan and said he was in his mid-20s and
      had joined Dulaimi's security staff about a month ago.
      Farhan did not have a security pass to enter the Green
      Zone, he said.

      Dulaimi himself told Reuters on Friday he expected the
      man to be released. He denied a report from a police
      source that his son was detained.

      There was no official explanation for the curfew,
      which emptied streets. A political source said it was
      linked to fears that security in the Green Zone had
      been compromised. He said access for all but the most
      senior officials had been curtailed.

      The 5 sq km (2 sq mile) riverside compound once
      occupied by Saddam Hussein is home to thousands,
      including most senior officials and the U.S. and
      British embassies.

      In March, Iraq jailed several defense officials
      accused of a plot to infiltrate hundreds of al Qaeda
      fighters into the Zone's security force.

      Another senior Iraqi official said the curfew was
      imposed because of fears of more widespread unrest
      after a bloody first week of the Muslim holy month of
      Ramadan, during which the U.S. military said suicide
      attacks had hit a record high.

      The curfew would remain in place until 6 a.m. (0200
      GMT) on Sunday, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's
      office said. The U.S. military said the curfew was the
      Iraqi government's decision, and such measures had
      proven effective in the past.


      The massive surge in sectarian killings since February
      has been marked by dozens of corpses being found
      nearly every day dumped in the streets of Baghdad,
      bound, tortured and shot.

      Sunni Arabs say some of the killings are carried out
      by Shi'ite death squads with links to the government
      and police. Increasingly, U.S. officials have backed
      up such claims.

      One senior U.S. military official this week said
      police had allowed death squads to re-enter areas
      already cleared by U.S. forces in a seven-week-old
      crackdown in the capital.

      Washington's ambassador to Iraq threatened to cut off
      funding for the Iraqi police if the government failed
      to punish police officials for torture and human
      rights violations.

      Zalmay Khalilzad said in an interview with the New
      York Times that he had faith in the motives of Iraq's
      new Interior Minister Jawad al-Bolani, in charge of
      the police since June.

      But he said U.S. officials were reviewing programs
      under a law named after Democratic Senator Patrick
      Leahy that bans U.S. funding for armies and police
      forces that violate human rights.

      Outside Baghdad, a suicide car bomb targeting an Iraqi
      army checkpoint in the northern town of Tal Afar
      killed two people and wounded 30. Other bombs struck
      in Mosul and Kirkuk in the north and in Iskanderiya
      south of Baghdad.

      In Washington, where Iraq has become a crucial
      political issue ahead of a congressional election in
      November, the U.S. Congress voted to block the Bush
      administration from building permanent bases in Iraq
      or taking control of its oil sector.
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