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Tens of thousands of Iraqi security personnel are to form a tight cordon around Baghdad involving hundreds of checkpoints in a bid to stem a spate of deadly car bombings, Defence Minister Saadun al-Dulaimi said today.
"We're going to set up a security cordon around Baghdad ... and it will be impossible for terrorists to cross," he said, adding that the plan would come into operation next week before being extended to the provinces.
Mr Dulaimi made the announcement at a joint press conference with Interior Minister Bayan Baqer Solagh and near the end of a bloody month in which more than 600 Iraqis have been killed in insurgent attacks.
"The objective is to pass from a defensive position to an offensive one and to put the capacities of defence and interior ministry forces to the best use," Mr Solagh said.
BAGHDAD, Iraq - The government said Thursday a security cordon of 40,000 Iraqi soldiers and police will ring Baghdad starting next week in what it dubbed Operation Lightning, aimed at halting a spree of insurgent violence that has killed more than 620 people this month.