Baghdad Orders Lockdown As Petraeus Testifies

Unauthorized vehicles will be banned in Baghdad from 5 a.m. to midnight on Wednesday, the fifth anniversary of the city's capture by U.S. troops, the AP reports.

The decision by the Iraqi military command for Baghdad was announced on Iraqi state TV.

Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr is threatening to lift a seven-month freeze on his Mahdi Army militia if the Iraqi government does not halt attacks on his followers or set a timetable for a U.S. withdrawal.

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Mother Jones reports that while while Petraeus testifies, U.S. personnel in Iraq are taking cover:

As General David Petraeus and U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker testify before Congress this week about the security situation in Iraq, telling the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday that the surge is working and progress is under way, U.S. embassy officials in Baghdad have been ordered to take heightened security precautions in light of stepped-up attacks on the Green Zone, including one on Sunday that killed two U.S. soldiers and wounded 17 others.

Under this new security boost, says a U.S. Embassy official who asked not to be identified, embassy personnel have been told to remain under "hardened cover." Instructed to avoid their trailers, some embassy staffers are now sleeping in their offices and on cots in the new embassy building, currently under construction, according to a source who has spoken with embassy officials in Baghdad. Embassy personnel have also been cautioned to limit their trips outdoors and, when they must leave the protection of reinforced structures, to wear flak jackets, protective eyewear, and helmets.

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