- Title: IRAQ: Security checkpoints swamp streets, slowing traffic in Baghdad
- Date: 10th November 2008
- Summary: HEAD OF REGISTRATION DEPARTMENT SHAFEEQ SHAKER SITTING HIS OFFICE (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) SHAFEEQ SHAKIR, HEAD OF REGISTRATION DEPARTMENT, SAYING: "The security situation has improved in Baghdad and in the rest of Iraq in general. So attendance is good. But there are a lot of problems on the road with heavy traffic. Both students and staff suffer from it. I, for one, left my house today at 0630 a.m. and arrived at 0830 a.m., so it took me two hours. So for example, if my lecture is at 0830 a.m. I have to postpone it by 20 minutes to 0950, but students still arrive late." VARIOUS OF STUDENTS ON UNIVERSITY CAMPUS
- Embargoed: 25th November 2008 16:24
- Location: Iraq
- Country: Iraq
- Topics: Police,Defence / Military
- Reuters ID: LVA8QJOM3DKNKI4HED7H61LK5O0Z
- Aspect Ratio: 4:3
- Story Text: Tightened security has allowed Iraqis to resume their daily lives but at a much slower pace. Students at Baghdad University complain that checkpoints and security checks are resulting in seas of traffic jams and frequent evictions from lectures for tardiness.
"In the morning on our way to university, there are many checkpoints in Rusafa and even more in Karkh. By the time we get through all the checkpoints and traffic, we arrive between 0910 and 0915. The professors let us into lectures up until 0845 a.m., after which students are denied entry," student Eman Hameed said.
In every street of the capital Baghdad, there are some three to four Iraqi army checkpoints, allowing only one lane of cars to move at a time.
Years of violence have necessitated strict measures, to prevent the roadside and suicide bombs that have claimed the lives of tens of thousands of civilians.
"The situation is now much better than before, it is better than the previous year or two. Thank God, it is better now. We can move freely, the roads are secured, no one will attack you, no blasts. We feel safe, not like the previous two years when there were attacks in the streets. There is nothing like that nowadays," Baghdad University student Dhiyaa Sabri told Reuters.
Violence in Iraq has fallen to its lowest level in more than four years but militants have still shown themselves capable of mounting lethal attacks.
University staff also share the same problem, and have to postpone lectures regularly.
"The security situation has improved in Baghdad and in the rest of Iraq in general. So attendance is good. But there are a lot of problems on the road with heavy traffic. Both students and staff suffer from it. I, for one, left my house today at 0630 a.m. and arrived at 0830 a.m., so it took me two hours. So for example, if my lecture is at 0830 a.m. I have to postpone it by 20 minutes to 0950, but students still arrive late," said Safeeq Shakir, head of registration department at the College of Science.
Sectarian violence has claimed tens of thousands of Iraqi lives since the bombing of a revered Shi'ite mosque in predominantly Sunni Arab Samarra north of Baghdad in February 2006 unleashed waves of reprisal killings.
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