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War in Iraq
Photo: Schoolboys in Baghdad walking next to the controversial new wall in the Adhamiya District.

Bush Administration Desperation?

Construction of a controversial security wall around a Sunni neighborhood in Baghdad will be stopped, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki told reporters on Sunday, saying: "This wall reminds us of other walls."

US troops for the last two weeks have been raising six-ton concrete sections of a wall around Adhamiyah, a mainly Sunni Arab neighborhood in the northeast of Baghdad, to protect it from mortar attacks and death-squad raids from surrounding Shiite areas -- and to keep Sunni fighters from organizing raids on nearby Shiites. But the project drew sharp criticism from Sunni leaders and local residents, who complained it would only worsen divisions in Baghdad.

"I oppose the building of the wall, and its construction will stop," al-Maliki told reporters on Sunday. "There are other methods to protect neighborhoods."

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