Walls around the world: some notable barriers

13th August 2011, Comments 0 comments

For almost three decades the Cold War border between East and West Germany was embodied by the Berlin Wall, which divided the two from 50 years ago on Saturday.

A militarised barrier some 160 kilometers (100 miles) long that entirely separated the enclave of West Berlin from the rest of the city and from East Germany as a whole, the Wall was built in 1961 and torn down in 1989, in a move that heralded the collapse of Soviet-dominated communist regimes.

It was one of the walls and fences that have sprung up around the world.

Some notable examples:

- Korea

The most heavily militarised border in the world is that drawn between North and South Korea in 1953. Bristling with razor wire, sensors, landmines and heavy weapons, the Demilitarized Zone stretches for 250 kilometres (155 miles) along the full length of the border.

- Israel-Palestinian territories

In June 2002, Israel began building a 709-kilometre (435-mile) barrier, edging the West Bank. It includes watch towers and electronic surveillance, and Israel says it is aimed at preventing infiltration by Palestinian guerrillas. To date, Israel has completed more than 400 kilometres (250 miles) of the barrier.

- United States-Mexico

In October 2006, US President George W. Bush authorized the construction of a fence - known locally as the Tortilla Curtain - along a third of his country's 3,200 kilometre (1,988 mile) border with Mexico, aimed at deterring illegal immigrants.

- Cyprus

A 300-kilometre (187-mile) UN-patrolled buffer zone has divided Greek and Turkish Cypriots since 1974. A wall built along part of the line in the centre of the capital Nicosia was dismantled in 2007. However, Nicosia remains the world's only divided capital.

© 2011 AFP

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