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20 January, 2020 00:00 00 AM
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Iraq protests swell over reforms

AFP, Baghdad
Iraq protests swell over reforms
Iraqi anti-government demonstrators march with national flags as they gather for a protest at Tayaran Square, near Tahrir Square in Baghdad yesterday. AFP photo

Iraqi youth angry at their government’s glacial pace of reform ramped up their protests yesterday, sealing streets with burning tyres and threatening further escalation unless their demands are met.

The rallies demanding an overhaul of the ruling system have rocked Shiite-majority parts of Iraq since October, but had thinned out in recent weeks amid rising Iran-US tensions. Protesters had feared Iraq would be caught in the middle of the geopolitical storm and last Monday gave the government one week to make progress on reform pledges.

A day before the deadline expires, hundreds of angry young people descended on the main protest camp in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square as well as nearby Tayaran Square. They burned tyres to block highways and bridges, turning back cars and causing traffic jams across the city.

At least 10 people including police officers were wounded when security forces tried to clear the sit-ins with tear gas and protesters responded by throwing rocks, medical and security sources told AFP. “This is only the first escalation,” one protester with a scarf wrapped around his face told AFP, as smoke from the tyres turned the sky behind him a charcoal grey.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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