Iraqi protesters hold Baghdad square after night of clashes

AP , Sunday 27 Oct 2019

Demonstrators take part in a protest over corruption, lack of jobs, and poor services, in Baghdad, Iraq October 27, 2019 (Photo: Reuters)

Iraqi anti-government protesters are still in Baghdad's Tahrir Square after a night of clashes with security forces who failed to evict them.

Elite counterterrorism forces and state-backed militias meanwhile deployed across the capital Sunday to protect political party offices and militia headquarters.

Iraqis have launched two waves of mass protests this month, calling for the resignation of a government they blame for corruption and poor public services.

Iraqi officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to brief reporters, say at least 70 people have been killed since the protests resumed Friday, including 17 in Baghdad.

The protests have been concentrated in Baghdad and the Shiite south and are directed at the Shiite-dominated government. Protesters have also vented anger at Iran, which has strong influence over the government.

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