Iraq lifts daytime curfew

Iraq has lifted the strict daytime curfew slapped on Baghdad for the past three days after sectarian unrest triggered by the bombing of a revered Shia shrine.

    Shops were shuttered and closed during the curfew

    Vehicle traffic and pedestrians were seen on the streets of Baghdad on Monday after the three-day security measure.

    Iraqi authorities had imposed a vehicle ban on the streets of Baghdad until Sunday.

    However, the night curfew that comes into effect from 8pm (1700 GMT) to 6am (0300 GMT) will continue in the capital and three other central provinces of Salah al-Din, Bail and Diyala, officials said on Monday.
    Despite the draconian security measures in the capital on Sunday, insurgents killed at least 23 Iraqis across the country.

    Iraq's sectarian clashes have left at least 120 dead and threatened to derail talks on setting up a government of national unity, a crucial step in paving the way for a withdrawal of US forces from the insurgency-racked country. 

    Saddam hunger strike

    Saddam Hussein, the former Iraqi president, has ended his hunger strike after foregoing food for 11 days, his lead lawyer Khalil al-Dulaimi said on Monday.

    Saddam told the court that he
    had begun a hunger strike

    "I met my client for seven hours on Sunday. At our request he had earlier ended the hunger strike he had been on for 11 days and he has lost four to five kilos (about 10 pounds)," al-Dulaimi said.

    "He is doing OK."

    Al-Dulaimi said he and his client discussed "all aspects of the trial" at the meeting on Sunday.

    On 14 February, Saddam had told the court trying him on charges of crimes against humanity that he and his seven co-defendants had launched a hunger strike.

    "We have been on a hunger strike for three days," Saddam said at the 12th hearing of the trouble-plagued trial which opened in October.
    Saddam's fellow defendant and half brother Barzan al-Tikriti said he had been on hunger strike for two days.

    After a raucous session, the trial was adjourned until 28 February.

    It was not known whether al-Tikriti had also ended his hunger strike.



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