BrahMos WORLD INDIA MADHYA PRADESH BHOPAL WTN SPECIAL Astrology GOSSIP CORNER SPORTS BUSINESS FUN FACTS ENTERTAINMENT LIFESTYLE TRAVEL ART & LITERATURE SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY HEALTH EDUCATION DIASPORA OPINION & INTERVIEW RECIPES DRINKS FUNNY VIDEOS VIRAL ON WEB PICTURE STORIES
WTN HINDI ABOUT US PRIVACY POLICY SITEMAP CONTACT US
logo
Breaking News

Anti-govt protests continue in central, southern Iraq

Saturday - November 16, 2019 3:24 am , Category : WORLD
Baghdad, Nov 16 (IANS) Thousands of Iraqis continued anti-government demonstrations in central and southern Iraq over corruption, lack of jobs and public services.
 
In Baghdad, hundreds of demonstrators on Friday removed concrete blocks wall erected earlier by the security forces at the entrances to the streets leading to al-Khalani Square, especially the road linking this square with the nearby Tahrir Square, Xinhua news agency reported.
 
The demonstrators' attempt to advance to al-Khalani Square was part of their repeated attempts during the past few days to take control of the square and then to push across the nearby al-Ahrar Bridge, also known as Senak Bridge, to reach the Green Zone on the other side of the Tigris River.
 
However, the riot police fired smoke grenades, tear gas canisters and fire bullets into the air to disperse protesters and to prevent them from entering al-Khalani Square and to push them back to the nearby Tahrir Square, which has been the main stronghold of the demonstrators in Baghdad.
 
A police source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity that the al-Khalani clash between the two sides left two people killed and some 100 others wounded or suffocated by the smoke and tear gas.
 
During the day, al-Tahrir Square has witnessed a large influx of demonstrators from various areas of the capital and some neighbouring provinces to participate in the demonstrations that have been taking place there for several weeks, the source said, noting that there was no friction during the day between the security forces and the demonstrators so far.
 
The demonstrations also continued in the Iraqi cities of Basra, Nasiriyah, Maysan, Wasit, Diwaniya, Karbala, Najaf and Babil, as thousands of demonstrators took to the streets this afternoon, amid tight security measures and several attempts to disperse the demonstrations, the police source said, adding that there were no immediate reports about casualties in these cities.
 
Also during the day, the Shiite cleric Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, who heads the Shiite religious leadership in Iraq, confirmed his support to the legitimate demands of the protesters, and said that Iraq will never be the same after weeks of demonstrations demanding sweeping reform.
 
"If those in power think that they can evade conducting real reform by procrastination, they are delusional," Sistani said in his weekly Friday prayer, delivered by a representative in the Shiite holy city of Karbala.
 
"What comes after these protests will not be the same as before, and they should be aware of that," al-Sistani warned.
 
Mass demonstrations have continued in the capital Baghdad and other cities in central and southern Iraq since early October, demanding comprehensive reform, accountability for corruption, improvement of public services and job opportunities.
 

--IANS rt/