Security ring for Baghdad planned

Iraqi Defence Minister Saadun al-Dulaimi has announced a security plan for Baghdad involving 40,000 soldiers and police.

    A boy walks past the remains of a car bomb in Baghdad

    Al-Dulaimi made the announcement at a news conference with Interior Minister Bayan Jabor.

    Operation Lightning will divide Russafa (the east of the city) into seven sectors and Kharkh (west) into 15, as well as set up 645 fixed checkpoints and a number of mobile barricades, he said.

    "We're going to set up a security cordon around Baghdad ... and it will be impossible for terrorists to cross," Jabor said, adding that the plan would come into operation next week.

    "The objective is to pass from a defensive position to an offensive one and to put the capacities of Defence and Interior Ministry forces to the best use."

    Al-Dulaimi's proposal comes after another morning of violence in Iraq.


    Iraq attacks


    Armed men shot dead a senior official in Iraq's ministry of industry and minerals in an ambush in Baghdad on Thursday.


    Police said Thamer Ghaidan, a director-general at the ministry, was killed in a drive-by shooting as he was shopping in a market in central Baghdad.


    And two US oldiers were killed when their helicopter crashed after being shot at north of Baghdad, the US military said in a statement on Friday. 
    It added two helicopters came under small arms fire near Baquba north of Baghdad.


    In other attacks and clashes, as many as 14 Iraqis, including children, a man working as a translator for the US military and a university lecturer, were killed in Iraq, police officials said.


    Men gather for the funeral of
    university lecturer Musa Abbas

    A car bomb exploded near an Iraqi police patrol at about 7.45am (0345 GMT) on Thursday in northern Baghdad's popular Shula district as people headed to work, police Lieutenant Haider Hussein said.


    Hussein and medic Naseer Hashim of Baghdad's Nour Hospital said the car bomb targeted a police patrol.


    Iraqi journalist Muhammad al-Abdullah told Aljazeera the car bomb exploded at 7.30am in al-Sadrayn square in the al-Shula neighbourhood northwest of Baghdad, killing four police officers and two civilians.


    Seventeen people were wounded in the attack.


    Drive-by shooting


    Separately, men in a speeding car fired automatic weapons at a group of people walking to work in Baghdad's southern Risala neighbourhood, killing four Iraqis, including a translator working for the US military, said police Lieutenant Hussam Noori.


    A police source told al-Abdullah that a man identified as Musa Saloum Abbas, a university lecturer at the College of Information at Baghdad University, was among the dead.


    Iraqi security forces and Iraqis working with US-led forces have been repeatedly attacked by fighters determined to bring down this country's US-backed government.


    Roadside bomb


    In a separate incident, a bomb targeting a US convoy detonated on Muhammad al-Qassim highway, destroying one of the vehicles, al-Abdullah told Aljazeera.


    Five people were killed in the car
    bomb attack in Shula

    forces immediately cordoned off the area, and it was unknown whether there were any dead or wounded among the US soldiers.


    In the western Ghazaliyah district, four police officers were wounded when armed men opened fire on the residence of an undersecretary to the Interior Ministry, Major-General Hikmat Musa Salman, who was not at home at the time, al-Abdullah said.


    In al-Qadissiyah district, south of Baghdad, a member of the Islamic Dawa party, Fakhri Abd Ammiri, was killed, relatives said. It was not known when he was killed, al-Abdullah added.


    Children killed


    An Iraqi child was killed during clashes between US forces and fighters in northern Iraq on Thursday, the military said.


    The US military said the incident happened during a military operation in Tal Afar, 150km east of the Syrian border.


    Tal Afar has been the scene of clashes since two explosions late on Monday killed at least 20 people.


    Iraqi security forces closed access to the town and residents said US forces backed by helicopters have since been battling armed men.


    Salih Haider Qado, director of the Tal Afar hospital, said two children, one of them one month old and the other one year old, were killed during fighting on Wednesday, while four civilians were wounded.


    It was unclear whether the two reports of children being killed were related.

    SOURCE: Aljazeera + Agencies


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