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Saturday, April 21, 2007

Security wall or prison wall?

It turns out that the Sunnis aren't really pleased about the wall the U.S. is building to supposedly protect them:

BAGHDAD (AP) - A wall U.S. troops are building around a Sunni enclave in Baghdad came under increasing criticism on Saturday, with residents calling it "collective punishment" and a local leader saying construction began without the neighborhood council's approval.

The U.S. military says the wall in Baghdad is meant to secure the minority Sunni community of Azamiyah, which "has been trapped in a spiral of sectarian violence and retaliation." The area, located on the eastern side of the Tigris River, would be completely gated, with entrances and exits manned by Iraqi soldiers, the U.S. military said earlier this week.

But some residents of the neighborhood, which is surrounded by Shiite areas, complained that they had not been consulted in advance about the barrier.

"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. "They are going to punish all of us because of a few terrorists here and there."


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