US, Iraqi forces seal off notorious Baghdad Sunni district

August 15th, 2006  
Team Infidel

Topic: US, Iraqi forces seal off notorious Baghdad Sunni district

BAGHDAD, Aug 15, 2006 (AFP) - US and Iraqi forces have sealed off the
notorious mainly Sunni Baghdad district of Dura as part of a major offensive
to curb insurgent and sectarian violence, the US military said Tuesday.

It said dozens of concrete barriers have been put up around the homes of
residents in the southern district since Friday "in an attempt to keep
terrorists out of Dura".

"All vehicles leaving or entering the neighborhood are stopped at designated
checkpoints manned by Iraqi police looking for known terrorists, bomb-making
materials and illegal weapons," the military said.

The new security method was implemented as part of Operation Together
Forward, the ongoing security plan launched by the security forces in

"We are in a conjoined effort with the Iraqi security forces to block off
certain roads in Dura to better establish security of the neighborhood and
give the citizens there a sense of security in their government's effort to
build this country," the statement quoted US Master Sergeant Ronald Loebel
as saying.

Loebel said Dura had become increasingly violent since the invasion ended in
2003, "where roadside bombs, murders and terrorist attacks on Iraqi
civilians happen daily."

"On average we were finding about 25 improvised-explosive-devices a week in
and around Dura before we started this operation," Loebel said.

"So far this week, there has only been four IEDs in the area. We have been
very successful up to this point."

The statement added that Dura "is not being sealed off as a result of
attacks on coalition forces but because it is being used by terrorists to
incite sectarian tension between Sunni and Shiite Muslims."

Baghdad is in the grip of sectarian violence that has seen thousands of
people die in tit-for-tat killings since Febraury.

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