Iraq locks down Baghdad before Arab summit

By REUTERS
March 25, 2012 17:56

BAGHDAD - Iraq's government has locked down Baghdad ahead of this week's Arab League Summit, throwing up a maze of security checkpoints and roadblocks as it seeks to protect the capital from insurgent attacks.

The three-day summit is the first of its kind to be held in Iraq in more than two decades, and a successful meeting would allow Shi'ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki to show the country is pulling back from years of violence and upheaval months after the last US troops left.

"Our lack of intelligence capabilities means we can't find explosives as we don't have the apparatus," said Hakim al-Zamili, a member of the parliamentary security committee.

"We have to rely on these old-fashioned methods like blocking the streets. So far it's been a success despite the impact on the citizens."


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