Conflicts & War

Thousands of Iraqis take to streets to mark anniversary of uprising

Baghdad, Oct 25 (efe-epa).- Thousands of people gathered in Baghdad’s central Tahrir square Sunday to mark the first anniversary of the deadly protests that forced Adel Abdel-Mahdi to resign as prime minister.

Around 600 demonstrators were killed in the unrest during the protests.

The demonstrators in Tahrir square on Sunday — the area was the epicenter of the 2019 rallies — called for political, social and economic reforms.

They held photos of prominent activists who were killed during the demonstrations that first erupted on 1 October 2019 and gained momentum later that month, especially in Baghdad and southern cities.

The protesters also called on the authorities to bring to justice the members of the security forces allegedly involved in killing 560 protesters, according to the government’s estimations and demanded the resignations of Iraqi President Barham Saleh and speaker of the Parliament Mohamed al-Halbusi.

Clashes between protesters and security forces took place on the al-Sink and al-Jumhurria bridges that lead to the fortified Green Zone, where most of the embassies, government buildings are, spokesperson for the Iraqi Commander-in-Chief Yehia Rasool said on his Twitter account.

He claimed around 30 members of the security forces were injured when protests threw explosives.

Although the rallies last year were originally organized to call for better basic services and an end to corruption, they turned into anti-government protests that forced Abdel-Mahdi to step down.

The rallies continued throughout the year but lost momentum due to the coronavirus.

The protesters had called for snap elections, which are set to be held on 6 June, while the government is trying to approve this year’s budget to mitigate the economic crisis Iraq has been experiencing and that has been worsened due to the coronavirus. EFE-EPA

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