Baghdad residents protest separation wall
Hundreds of Iraqis staged a protest against the building of a dividing wall being built by US forces between a Shi'ite and Sunni district of Baghdad Sept. 12. Residents of the Shula and Ghazaliya neighborhoods waved Iraqi flags and chanted slogans rejecting both the proposed separation and the US occupation. Carrying banners reading "No to the dividing wall" and "The wall is US terrorism," the protesters issued a statement demanding that Iraqi authorities intervene. "The wall is in accordance with al-Qaeda's plans," the statement said, adding that it would "separate family from family."
Hassan al-Tai, a leader of the Sunni Tai tribe, demanded the Iraqi government act against those "planting division and sectarianism amongst Iraqis." He told the AFP, "The wall is dividing small neighborhoods and will lead to the partitioning of Iraq. A Shi'ite cleric at the protest, Abdul Baqir al-Subaihawi, insisted the wall would provide neither security nor stability. "The government must maintain security in Baghdad rather than separate its neighborhoods," he said. (BBC, Sept. 15)