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Baghdad stays under indefinite curfew

A day after verdict on Saddam, life has come to a virtual halt in Baghdad with no sign of activity on the city's roads.

india Updated: Nov 06, 2006 13:15 IST

Life has come to a virtual halt in Baghdad with no sign of a pedestrian or a vehicle on the city's roads on Monday as an indefinite curfew continued, a day after a death sentence was delivered on Saddam Hussein.

"The indefinite curfew continues as we want to ensure safety of Iraqi citizens," said Bassam Ridha, advisor to Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.

As part of the security measure, the Iraqi authorities also closed the Baghdad airport on Monday for the second consecutive day, while a drizzle further ensured that people stayed indoors.

Apart from Baghdad, two other provinces -- Diyala and Salaheddin - are also under curfew to thwart any outbreak of violence after the verdict in Saddam's first trial.

Anticipating a surge in violence the Iraqi government had imposed an indefinite curfew since 0830 IST.

Since Friday authorities had also cancelled all military leave and put the country's armed forces on alert.

"The prime minister will discuss with the concerned committee about the security measure later today and will take a decision on further steps," Ridha said.

On Sunday, Saddam was sentenced to death for "wilful killing", part of his indictment for crimes against humanity in ordering the deaths of 148 Shiite residents of Dujail, north of Baghdad, after a 1982 assassination attempt.

Saddam's half-brother and intelligence chief Barzan al-Tikriti was also sentenced to die, as was Awad Ahmed al-Bandar, who was chairman of the so-called Revolutionary Court that ordered the Shiites executed.

First Published: Nov 06, 2006 13:15 IST