Protesters gather for ‘Iraqi Rage’ demosBy DPA, IANS
Friday, February 25, 2011
BAGHDAD - Thousands of Iraqi protesters gathered in central Baghdad Friday amid tight security, demanding economic reforms, jobs and an end to corruption.
More people were expected to head towards Baghdad’s Tahrir square after Friday prayers to take part in what has been dubbed as the “Revolution of Iraqi Rage”.
In the southern city of Basra, hundreds staged a protest early Friday near a local government building, calling for the dismissal of the governor and accusing him of corruption.
Protests calling for greater social services have already erupted over the past weeks in Falluja, Kirkuk and the capital Baghdad.
Authorities have imposed tight security measures to prevent the protesters from gathering, after calls by religious and political leaders for Iraqis not o protest.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki warned that the protests attempt to stir chaos, and that they may be targets of Al Qaeda attacks.
People were banned from driving around the capital after midnight Thursday, while in the western city Ramadi, security forces prevented media crews from moving around to cover the demonstrations.
“Authorities imposed a curfew on vehicles heading to Ramadi city, to prevent demonstrator from heading there,” local sources told DPA.
“There is a heavy presence of police and military forces in the streets,” the source added.
An Iraqi policeman was killed and two protesters injured in protests in Sulaimaniya, when over 6,000 people to part in protests Tuesday.
Last week, a 17-year-old protester died in clashes with security forces in the northern Iraqi Kurdistan region and at least 37 people were injured during demonstrations for greater autonomy there.