The presence of huge concrete blast walls on the streets of Samarra and other Iraqi cities serve as grim reminders of the country's continued instability as it approaches elections in January 2010.

The barriers are designed to protect against car bombings and suicide attacks, but many people complain about the segregation of their communities and the problems it causes to those trying to go about their daily lives.

In Baghdad, as the security situation improved, some of the concrete blocks were removed to make moving around the city easier, but a wave of recent bombings has indicated that such may be premature.

Al-Jazeera's Omar Al-Saleh reports from Samarra.

Source: Al Jazeera