Vehile ban in Iraq – effort to prevent reprisal attacks of terrorists

Iraqi and U.S. leaders have cautioned the death of the al-Qaida in Iraq leader was not likely to end the bloodshed in Iraq, and an American general said an Egyptian-born roadside bomb expert is already poised to take over the terror network's operations.

The vehicle ban will be in effect from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday in Baghdad and from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. for three days starting Friday in Diyala, Interior Ministry spokesman Brig. Adnan Abdul Rahman said.

Al-Zarqawi, the leader of al-Qaida in Iraq, was killed in a massive U.S. air strike Wednesday near Baqouba, the provincial capital of Diyala, which is in the heartland of the Sunni-led insurgency and has seen a recent rise in sectarian violence. Baqouba is 60 kilometers (35 miles) northeast of Baghdad.

The ban also falls during the times that most Iraqis go to mosques for Friday prayers. Bombers have been known to target Shiite mosques during the weekly religious services with suicide attackers and mortars hidden in vehicles, the AP reports.

Iraqi authorities imposed the vehicle ban as a security measure "to protect mosques and prayers from any possible terrorist attacks, especially car bombs, in the wake off yesterday's event," a government official said, referring to al-Zarqawi's death. The official from the prime minister's office spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to media.