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Iraq's Prime Minister Rejects Baghdad Wall Plans

Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi has dismissed plans to build a wall around the capital.

"Baghdad is the capital for all Iraqis,” Abadi said in the statement released late February 6. "There can be no wall or fence to isolate it or prevent other civilians from entering it."

He said Baghdad would be secured by reorganizing checkpoints and closing gaps in the security perimeter while easing transit in and out of the city of around 4 million.

The Iraqi military had said on February 3 that preparatory work for a security barrier around Baghdad was underway in a bid to prevent attacks by the Islamic State (IS) group.

IS militants seized large swaths of territory north and west of Baghdad in 2014. They have claimed several attacks in recent months in the capital, mainly targeting security forces and the country's Shi’ite majority.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters