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Iraqi forces patrol a Baghdad on edge

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An Iraqi patrol keeps an eye out for terrorists and bombers as it moves through the capital of Baghdad.  (Source: CNN) An Iraqi patrol keeps an eye out for terrorists and bombers as it moves through the capital of Baghdad. (Source: CNN)

BAGHDAD (CNN) - Iraq's capital is reeling from deadly bombings on Thursday.

It's not clear if the perpetrators are tied to ISIS.

Security is on high alert, and anti-terrorism squads are scanning the streets for any risks.

One of those units worked to secure the capital.

The enemy within, a daily threat in the Iraqi capital. Fear of terror attacks has the authorities and the residents on edge.

As you travel through town with the police special forces unit you soon see why.

Every neighborhood bears scars.

In Al Firat,  a soldier says that on Wednesday that twin explosions were detonated on the road.

As you travel through the farms on the edges of Baghdad the roads are peppered with checkpoints.

Sector Commander Brigadier Raysan observes efforts to secure the capital's perimeter.

Baghdad, he says, is safe.

To drive home the point he even leaves his armored vest back at base.

The reality is stop and searches, which make up the bulk of the work at the edge of Baghdad, which are difficult and dangerous.

“Get out, get out,” they tell a driver.

It's Ramadan and the soldiers are fasting, but they can't afford to rush the job.

One of the western gates of Baghdad faces toward Anbar province, the Sunni town of Abu Ghraib and areas in which it is understood there is a militant presence, if not militant control. It is one of the most vulnerable points of entry into the capital.

But the brigadier says it is safer now than ever before. It is the sheer unpredictability that has the authorities off kilter. Any car could be the one. But as the Americans learned to their cost, the humiliation and anger caused by stop and searches is an easy way to lose hearts and minds.

At one point Brigadier Raysan himself steps in to keep the traffic flowing.

The brigadier and his men are on the move again. They are told the brigadier and his men are needed north of the capital.

Another point of vulnerability as the pressure on Baghdad and its people grows.

Copyright 2014 CNN. All rights reserved.

 

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