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Iraq clampdown shifts up a gear

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Iraq clampdown shifts up a gear


American and Iraqi forces have said they’ve upped the tempo in their security crackdown in Baghdad. New checkpoints were set up, people and vehicles searched and weapons confiscated.

Fighter jets patrolled the skies above Baghdad as the US moved to show war-weary inhabitants that ‘Operation Imposing Law’ was under way.

In door-to-door raids, 14 suspected militants were arrested and 4 arms stashes found.

Iraq also began to shut its borders with Iran and Syria, aimed at stemming the flow of foreign fighters and weapons say the US military. They will remain closed for 72 hours, the time to revamp border positions.

Meanwhile the man Washington describes as the greatest threat to Iraqi security is in Iran for a short stay, according to a top Iraqi official.

Moqtada al-Sadr is the head of the Mehdi Army, a group of tens of thousands of Shi’ite soldiers. The US has called on al-Maliki to disarm the militia, but the Prime Minister relies on the cleric for political support.

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