Monday, September 10, 2007


Night curfew to be eased in Baghdad during Ramadan

(AFP) - Iraq will ease the nightly curfew in Baghdad during the holy month of Ramadan which begins this week, Brigadier General Qassim Atta, spokesman for the Baghdad security plan, said on Monday. Atta said the curfew in the capital would come into effect at midnight (2000 GMT) instead of 11.00 pm but would continue to be enforced until 5:00 am (0100 GMT). He added that the authorities had also decided to scrap the weekly vehicle curfew that usually applies between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm on Fridays, for the duration of the fasting month.
However, vehicles will not be allowed over the many bridges that span the Tigris River and link east and west Baghdad on the Muslim day of rest. The vehicle curfew was introduced to thwart insurgent attacks on worshippers observing the main weekly prayers. The announcement of the changes to the curfew came hours after Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said that violence in Baghdad had fallen by 75 percent since the US military "surge" was launched in the capital on February 14.

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