Middle East News
Protesters in Iraq take to the streets after Friday prayers
Mar 11, 2011, 10:42 GMT
Baghdad - Hundreds of Iraqis protested in Baghdad after Friday prayers, demanding better services and the ouster of allegedly corrupt local officials.
Amid tight security, witnesses said protesters gathered in the capital's Tahrir Square, which bears the same name as the popular square in Cairo that served as a hub for anti-government protesters in Egypt.
According to the news website Aswat al-Iraq, protesters also took to the streets of Nasiriyah, some 370 kilometres southeast of Baghdad, where security forces have been criticised for using violence against protesters.
Sizable protests have taken place daily across Iraq in recent weeks. Some of those protests have turned violent on several occasions, with more than 18 people killed and more than 140 injured in clashes on Iraq's so-called Day of Rage, on February 25.
Calls from protesters for the ouster of officials in local councils have prompted Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki to push forward local elections originally scheduled for 2013.
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