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Iraq: Tight security in Green Zone as violence escalates - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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In this Sept. 4, 2013 file photo, people seen through broken bricks of a damaged shop inspect the site of a car bomb attack in the Karrada neighborhood of Baghdad, Iraq. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban, File)

In this Sept. 4, 2013 file photo, people seen through broken bricks of a damaged shop inspect the site of a car bomb attack in the Karrada neighborhood of Baghdad, Iraq. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban, File)

Baghdad, Asharq Al-Awsat—Iraqi authorities have tightened security around the heavily-fortified Green Zone in the heart of Baghdad after receiving intelligence of plans for an attack on the area, security sources told Asharq Al-Awsat.

The source added, “The information that the Iraqi forces possess is no longer based on what Al-Qaeda tries to leak…in an attempt to confuse the security situation and force security forces to taking strict precautionary measures that impose burdens on citizens without any attacks taking place.”

The source blamed recent attacks in the city on Al-Qaeda collaborators in nearby districts, and said that Iraqi intelligence services were steadily improving their ability to target them.

The security official maintained that “part of what is happening is political as many of attacks are staged via cars belonging to some governmental authorities,” and thus making the situation more difficult to tackle.

The tightening of security measures in the environs of the Green Zone came at a time when UN released its monthly report on violence in Iraq.

The UN’s special convoy to Iraq Nikolay Mladenov said in a statement on Monday that September “saw the death of 979 Iraqis with 2,133 injured in acts of violence and terrorist attacks.”

The report continued: “The number of civilians who have been killed reached 887, including 127 local policemen, while the number of those who have been injured reached 1,957 including 199 local policemen.”

Mladenov added that “Baghdad was the worst affected governorate in September, with 418 civilians killed and 1,011 injured, followed by Nineveh, Diyala, Saladin and Anbar.”

Mladenov added: “As terrorists continue to target Iraqis indiscriminately, I call upon all political leaders to strengthen their efforts to promote national dialogue and reconciliation,” calling on the political leadership, religious leaders, and security forces to “work together to end the bloodshed and ensure that all Iraqi citizens feel equally protected.”

Meanwhile, nine people were killed in separate attacks in Baghdad and the north of Iraq in on Monday, security and medical sources told AFP.

A police spokesman said that “five policemen were killed and seven were wounded in a suicide car bomb that targeted the headquarters of a police unit specializing in bomb defusing in the city of Tikrit.”

Also, in Mosul a police captain was killed and two officers reportedly injured in an explosion that targeted their patrol, medical and security sources said.