Iraq’s Capital Isolated from Neighboring Provinces amid Protests

Iraq’s Capital Isolated from Neighboring Provinces amid Protests

TEHRAN (Tasnim) - The Iraqi security forces cut off the main roads leading to Baghdad on Thursday as part of intensive security measures after days of violent protests that led to 21 deaths in the country, security sources said.

The main roads leading to the Iraq’s Baghdad and its neighborhoods were cut off by the Iraqi security forces after two days of violent protests in the capital and in Iraq's central and southern provinces, led to killing of at least 21 people and injuring of 856 more security sources said.

An Interior Ministry source anonymously told Xinhua that Baghdad has been isolated completely from the other Iraqi provinces since the curfew declared by the government came into effect at dawn on Thursday.

Mohammed al-Bazi, a police source from Salahudin province, told Xinhua that the security forces blocked two checkpoints on the main road that links the Iraqi northern provinces to Baghdad, leaving hundreds of vehicles trying to enter Baghdad to line up to about 10 km outside the checkpoints.

Only the vehicles of the security members, who were heading to their work, were allowed to pass the checkpoints, al-Bazi said.

The isolation of Baghdad came after the Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi, also the commander-in-chief of Iraqi forces, declared curfew in the Iraqi capital Baghdad starting from 5:00 a.m. local time (0200 GMT) Thursday morning, and until further notice.

Abdul Mahdi's decision excluded travelers to and from Baghdad airport, ambulances and public services workers and vehicles.

The decision also said that it is up to provincial governors to decide whether to declare curfews in their provinces.

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