Even as the Iraqis are removing some of the concrete blast walls that divide Baghdad, authorities have quietly installed about 100 metal gates near a major Shiite shrine - a clear sign of ongoing security concerns as bombings continue.
Perforated gates have been put up in the past three weeks in the heavily policed Kazimiyah district along streets and alleyways leading to the shrine of Imam Mousa al-Kazim, a much revered eighth-century Shiite saint. Security cameras are also being installed at the gates of the double-domed complex.
The street gates were put up following back-to-back suicide bombings near the shrine on April 24, which killed 71 people. It was the deadliest attack in Iraq in more than a year.
Ironically, the new security measures were taken despite the dramatic reduction in violence across Iraq over the past two years.
They serve as a reminder that the Iraq conflict is not over and that extremists remain able to carry out morale-sapping, spectacular attacks against Shiite targets only weeks before U.S. combat troops are due to leave Baghdad and other cities to outlying garrisons.