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Deadly clashes continue in Iraq

by Onize Ohikere
Posted 10/04/19, 12:09 pm

Iraq’s senior Shiite cleric called for calm during his Friday sermon as the death toll from anti-government protests rose to 53. Since Tuesday, protesters have demanded economic reform and the end of political corruption. Security forces are responding with live gunfire.

Is the government listening to the protesters? Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani said both sides should exercise restraint “before it’s too late” and urged the government to take “practical and clear steps” to eradicate corruption and mass suffering. Hours earlier in a televised address, Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi acknowledged he had heard the protesters’ demands and told them to go home. But the government has also cracked down: On Friday, security forces targeted people heading for Tahrir Square in Baghdad.

Dig deeper: Read Harvest Prude’s report in The Sift on how the United States pulled all nonessential staff from Iraq over rising tensions with Iran.

Editor’s note: WORLD updated this report to reflect the latest number of dead from the protests.

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Onize Ohikere

Onize is a reporter for WORLD Digital based in Abuja, Nigeria.

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