Iraq deputy PM urges Baghdad road opened to Ramadi’s displaced

An Iraqi soldier carries a displaced kid from Ramadi at the outskirts of Baghdad, May 19, 2015. (Reuters)

Iraq’s Deputy Prime Minister Saleh Mutlaq, a leading Sunni politician, on Saturday urged authorities to open the road to Baghdad for thousands of displaced from the militant-seized city of Ramadi.

“I call for the immediate opening of Bzeibez bridge,” Mutlaq, who is himself from the mainly Sunni province of Anbar of which Ramadi is the capital, said at a conference in Jordan.

He said that the bridge, which was opened on Tuesday, had since been closed to those fleeing Ramadi for the safety of Baghdad, 100 kilometers to the east.

“Preventing citizens from entering their capital is a crime,” said Mutlaq. “The constitution does not allow anyone to forbid a citizen from entering any province” in Iraq.

The authorities at Bzeibez bridge are requesting the displaced to have a sponsor before they can enter the capital, where some accuse them of being infiltrated by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militant group.

According to the International Organization for Migration, 40,000 people have fled fighting which led to the capture of Ramadi by ISIS last Sunday.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:47 - GMT 06:47