The Baghdad city government is demanding that the United States pay $1 billion and apologize for damage to the city caused by blast walls erected during the nearly eight-year long war.

In an official statement posted late Wednesday on its website, the local government says U.S. forces had marred the "beautiful city."

It says the blast walls "put up at the pretext of security" damaged the sewage system and sidewalks, caused traffic jams and paralyzed business.

City officials want an official apology and $1 billion to pay for the damage.

Thousands of blast walls snake for miles across the capital, protecting buildings and military compounds and sealing off whole neighborhoods.

The city has recently begun removing many of the concrete barriers.