Iraqis celebrate Eid al-Fitr amid improved security, services
By Khalid al-Taie
Security forces and municipal departments across Iraq have launched security and service plans that aim to facilitate the celebration of Eid al-Fitr, which officially began on Tuesday (June 4th).
Foot and motorised patrols will protect public parks and recreational facilities, as well as commercial areas and streets that see a heavy turnout of people during the holiday, Iraqi Defence Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Tahseen al-Khafaji told Diyaruna.
"The deployment of security forces also was beefed up around places of worship and gathering sites," he said.
Security authorities urged citizens to immediately report any suspicious movements or objects to the following hotlines: 104, 115, 130, 131, 138, 153, 400 and 454.
"As part of the plans to secure the holiday, security forces have been instructed to facilitate traffic to ease citizens’ commute," al-Khafaji said.
Many roads previously closed for security reasons have been reopened and municipal workers have removed the concrete barriers lining them, he said.
"All security and intelligence units are in a state of full readiness to deflect any dangers to our people, secure the holiday’s festivities and maintain the victory that has been achieved over the terrorists," he said.
Public services during Eid
Municipal departments across Iraq have readied gardens, parks and amusement parks to welcome celebrating families.
Decorations and neon signs have been put up on main streets and in public squares to mark the festivities.
In the capital Baghdad, the municipality has decorated 100 sites with lights.
As is custom during the holidays, the municipality has opened public parks -- most notably the al-Zawra park -- to visitors for free, as well as the Baghdad Museum.
It has also reopened the July 14th park, the second largest park in Baghdad, after its renovation -- which included the construction of fountains and new green spaces, and repairing the lighting, alleys, main gate and service buildings.
The Iraqi Civil Defence Directorate on Sunday (June 2nd) issued a series of recommendations for those responsible for the operation of amusement parks and boats in order to avoid tragic accidents like the sinking of the Mosul ferry in late March.
The recommendations included periodic checks to ensure the safety of all rides and boats, as well as directives banning the overloading of boats.