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France’s Alstom to build metro line in Baghdad

Iraq has signed a memorandum of understanding with French engineering group Alstom to build a metro line above Baghdad's streets, Reuters has reported. The 25-km metro would be partly funded by a French government loan covering 50% to 60% of the cost, Shaker al-Zamili, the head of Baghdad Investment Commission, said, with the remainder financed through a low-interest loan from a French government-run bank to be repaid over 20 years. The line, which would take up to two years to complete, aims to ease traffic congestion in the capital and would link the northern Baghdad districts of Shaab, Adhamiya, Kadhimiya and Hurriya with the central Alawi zone, he said.