Source AP ©

Curfew hours to be reduced during Ramadan

An Iraqi military spokesman said Monday that the nightly curfew in Baghdad will be reduced 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.

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.

Ramadan, the holy month of fasting, is expected to begin on Thursday depending on sighting of the new crescent moon. In the past years violence used to increase during Ramadan.

Al-Moussawi said that some leaflets were distributed recently in Baghdad warning that "Ramadan will be bloody." He reassured people by saying "we confirm that security forces are in full control of Baghdad."