Monday, September 10, 2007

Baghdad curfew hours to be reduced during Ramadan

Left: People shop for food yesterday in Najaf. Ramadan is the month during which the Quran was revealed, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, established in the year 638. The start date is usually different for Sunnis than for Shia by a day or two. The third pillar of Islam, which is fasting, is practiced during this month. Ramadan is derived from an Arabic word for intense heat and scorched ground. During Ramadan, Muslims are also expected to put maximum effort into following the teachings of Islam as well as refraining from anger, envy, and greed. However, violence has increased each Ramadan since the U.S. invasion.

The nightly curfew in Baghdad will be shortened by three hours and a ban on vehicles every Friday will be annulled during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan that beings later this week, an Iraqi military spokesman said Monday.

Brig. Gen. Qassim al-Moussawi told state-run Iraqiya television that security in the Iraqi capital has improved since a major security plan was launched in February but warned that "terrorists groups could carry out attacks."

Al-Moussawi said that as of the first day of Ramadan the curfew, which currently begins at 10 p.m. and ends at 6 a.m., will start at midnight and last for five hours. Al-Moussawi said that an 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. car ban in Baghdad every Friday will be lifted during the holy month.

Read the rest at the International Herald Tribune

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