Home > Latest News

Iraq starts building wall to block Sunni militants

The Iraqi military has begun constructing walls to block Sunni militants from advancing on the capital Baghdad, following their declaration in June of the establishment of an Islamic state.

The group has seized areas including Iraq's second-largest city of Mosul and is claiming parts of Iraq and Syria as their territory.

Government forces are using airstrikes to counter the group's attacks. They have also started building walls in the al-Adheim area, about 100 kilometers northeast of Baghdad.

The military says the 2-meter high wall will be surrounded by trenches to give cover to soldiers in counter-attacks on insurgents trying to seize Baghdad.

Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, who is Shia, is seeking to remain in power, while Sunnis and ethnic Kurds are demanding his resignation.

The deep divisions are blocking any peaceful settlement in Iraq.

Jul. 6, 2014 - Updated 22:59 UTC