(AA) – Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi issued a decision Thursday to end Baghdad’s eight-year curfew, which was first put in place by former premier Nouri al-Maliki due to Shiite-Sunni conflicts.
“Haider al-Abadi, commander in chief of the Iraqi armed forces, terminated Baghdad’s night curfew starting Saturday,” Brigadier Saad Ma’en, spokesman of the Baghdad’s operations command, said in a press conference.
The curfew was enforced from midnight until 4 a.m.
Abadi also ordered the disarming of four areas: Shiite-majority al-Kazemiya; al-Azamiya, al-Mansour and Sunni-majority al-Saydiya.
“Baghdad council’s security committee aims to disarm all the areas in Baghdad. The Iraqi security forces and al-Hashid al-Shaabi (Shiite volunteer militia) will secure Baghdad,” Saad al-Matlabi, security committee’s member, told The Anadolu Agency.
Ending the curfew was first recommended by Baghdad’s operations command due to semi-stable security conditions in the capital, according to Matlabi.
Iraq has been gripped by a security vacuum since June 2014 when Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant militants stormed the northern province of Mosul and declared what they called a caliphate in Iraq and Syria.