Police have tightened security in Baghdad as sectarian tensions threaten civil war in Iraq. Meanwhile, hundreds of Shiite men are joining security forces to fight Islamic militants who have captured Iraqi territory north of the capital. (June 15)
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Baghdad, Iraq - June 15, 2014
1. Cars driving through police checkpoint
2. Policeman holding up detector as cars drive through checkpoint; asking car to stop
3. Policeman holding gun
4. Policeman holding machine gun
5. Various of policeman stopping driver at checkpoint
6. Various of policeman searching vehicle
7. Various of volunteers entering the Federal Police Command headquarters
8. Various of vehicles filled with volunteers driving towards Taji military camp
Iraqi police have imposed strict security measures in the country's capital as sectarian tensions threaten to push Iraq back toward civil war in the worst crisis since US forces withdrew at the end of 2011.
Armed police, including SWAT teams, were seen manning checkpoints in Baghdad over the weekend, searching vehicles and checking drivers' documents.
Islamic militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, have captured large swaths of territory north of Baghdad in recent days.
Their advance on the capital was sending food prices dramatically higher and prompting tighter security in the city of 7 million people.
Meanwhile, hundreds of Shiite men flocked to the Federal Police Command headquarters in Baghdad on Sunday, eager to join security forces to fight the Islamic militants who have captured large swaths of territory north of the capital.
The mobilization, urged by the nation's top Shiite cleric, took on a sectarian dimension that threatened to intensify Sunni-Shiite strife in a nation already ripped by religious fervor after the militants' battlefield successes.
On Sunday, dozens of men climbed into the back of army trucks at the Federal Police Command headquarters, chanting Shiite religious slogans and pledging to join the nation's beleaguered security forces to battle the Sunni militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL.
The volunteers were first handed military uniforms and later went to Taji, home of Iraq's largest military base north of Baghdad, to undergo basic training.