[JURIST] The Iraqi government placed Baghdad under a daytime vehicular curfew on Friday in an attempt to quell the sectarian violence between Sunnis and Shiites that has wracked the country since the bombing of the Askariya shrine [Telegraph report] on February 22. Similar to the three-day curfew [JURIST report] that was lifted on Monday [JURIST report], the traffic ban prohibits Iraqis from using automobiles, but allows them to walk to weekly prayers. Some observers believe the curfews have been ordered to prevent a civil war between Sunnis and Shiites, who have accused each other of reprisal attacks during the last few months.
On Thursday, interim Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari [BBC profile] of the majority Shiite Alliance addressed Iraqi religious leaders on state television, urging them to unite the country and refrain from using divisive or demagogic rhetoric to stir Iraqis' passions. Nevertheless, Sunni and Kurd leaders continue to call for Jaafari's removal from office, citing the bloodshed and economic struggles the country has endured during his term. Reuters has more.