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Iraq to Remove Baghdad Blast Walls


Iraqi police working alongside U.S. military advisors have arrested a suspected terrorist commander in southern Iraq.

A U.S. military statement says the suspect was detained during an Iraqi-led raid on Wednesday. The suspect is allegedly responsible for explosions and indirect fire attacks in the area.

Meanwhile, Iraqi officials said the concrete security barriers that have lined the streets of Baghdad since the U.S.-led 2003 invasion will soon come down.

Government sources said Wednesday the blast walls, designed to thwart attacks, will be removed within 40 days.

The move comes after U.S. combat troops withdrew from Iraqi cities on June 30, giving local authorities greater responsibility for security in the capital and other urban centers.

Violence in Iraq has dropped sharply during the past year, but a recent series of deadly attacks points to a continued threat.

In violence Wednesday, police in the northern city of Mosul say three gunmen opened fire on a security checkpoint, killing a police officer. Two of the attackers were killed when police returned fire.

A car bomb in Ramadi, west of Baghdad, left one woman dead and wounded three other people.

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