Iraqi Protesters closed large roads in cities across Iraq on Sunday night, escalating their campaign for political change, as the clock ticked down the final hours to their deadline for the government to meet their demands for reform.
In Najaf, demonstrators burned pictures of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani and tore down posters of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis the former leader of Iraq’s Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF), or Hashd al-Shaabi, the umbrella grouping of Iraq’s mostly Shia militias.
AFP news agency reported that 10 people had been injured in Sunday’s skirmishes.
Roads were also blocked in al-Diwaniyah, Sumaria and Wasit.
Road closures and demonstrations had been expected for Monday, by which time a deadline set by demonstrators in the city of Nasiriya, for a new prime minister and government to be announced, would have passed.
The deadline and its demands announced last week were quickly adopted by protesters from across the country.
The demands include a new electoral law, and a new prime minister to replace Adel Abdul Mahdi who, despite resigning two months ago, remains in office.
“We all know they aren’t going to meet it, the only way they take us seriously is if we cut the roads, and disrupt the city – it’s our weapon,” said Zaid Ali,19, who had travelled from Basra in the run-up to Monday’s escalation.
Al Tayaran Square Security forces are firing tear gas into crowds of demonstrators.
Thousands of Iraqis in various cities are continuing protests against corruption & Iran’s mulla regime slave government
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