Saturday, April 19, 2008

U.S.-built wall fuels anger in Sadr City

Barrier intended to cut Baghdad attacks

Saturday, April 19, 2008 2:52 AM
By Lee Keath


BAGHDAD -- Followers of anti-U.S. Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr denounced the U.S. military's construction of a concrete wall through their Sadr City stronghold in Baghdad, the scene of clashes yesterday between militiamen and U.S. and Iraqi troops.

The wall, of varying height up to about 12 feet, is being built along a main street dividing the southern portion of Sadr City from the northern, where al-Sadr's Mahdi Army fighters are concentrated.

U.S. commanders hope that construction of the Sadr City wall, which began Tuesday, effectively will cut off insurgents' ability to move freely into the rest of Baghdad and hamper their ability to fire rockets and mortars at the Green Zone, the central Baghdad district where government offices and the U.S. Embassy are located.

The Sadrist movement stepped up its rhetoric yesterday, denouncing Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's government as "just like Saddam Hussein's," and the Mahdi Army called on Iraqi troops to put down their weapons and stop fighting. Read On

I vote for constructing walls that effectively cut off the U.S. government's ability to slaughter innocent people. -EF Swagee

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