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Iconic iron bridge reopens in Iraq's Fallujah

The landmark iron bridge in the Iraqi city of Fallujah has reopened [Getty]

Date of publication: 6 August, 2018

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The UN Development Programme announced the reopening of the "iconic landmark", which was inaugurated in 1932 by King Faisal.

The iron bridge in Iraq's ex-flashpoint city Fallujah, from whose girders the bodies of four US private security agents were hanged in 2004, has reopened after its destruction by militants.

The UN Development Programme announced the reopening of the "iconic landmark", which was inaugurated in 1932 by King Faisal, completing a project launched last October.

The $1.3 million venture was coordinated with the Iraqi government and supported by the Netherlands, the United Nations said.

Work on the 270-metre bridge was stopped in February when explosives were discovered below its waterline and on the riverbank, the UN said, adding that specialised scuba divers disposed of the material.

The single-lane bridge gained notoriety a year after the US invasion of Iraq, in an attack on four members of the American security firm Blackwater on 31 March, 2004. 

Insurgents beat up the Americans, burnt their bodies and hanged them from the girders of the bridge. 

The grisly killings triggered the first battle of Fallujah launched by the US military.

In June 2015, the Islamic State group hanged an Iraqi soldier from the bridge.

The jihadist group at the end of that year blew up the bridge, which straddles the Euphrates river to link the two banks of the city, to keep out the Iraqi army.

The city, 60 kilometres (37 miles) west of Baghdad, was fully retaken from extremists on 26 June, 2016.

The Iraq Report is a weekly feature at The New Arab.

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