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New York

Sat, 07 Dec 2019 09:28 GMT

Iraq’s Politicians in Talks amid Protests in Shrine Cities


7Dnews London

Tue, 03 Dec 2019 13:21 GMT

Iraqi politicians met in Baghdad on Tuesday, December 3rd to discuss a way to bring to an end the two months of protests that brought down the previous government, AFP reported.

Political factions gathered to find a replacement for outgoing prime minister Adel Abdel Mahdi, and to agree on a new electoral law to supervise a prompt general election. The meeting came as violence hit two Shiite shrine cities.

Anti-government protesters gathered late into the night in Najaf, the seat of Iraq's Shiite religious leadership, around the tomb of a cleric who founded a Shiite party, an AFP correspondent reported. The tomb was guarded by armed men in civilian clothes who fired shots and tear gas at protesters.

Najaf has become a flashpoint since protesters torched the Iranian consulate in the city on November 2nd, accusing Teheran of backing a corrupt government in Baghdad. The governor has called on the central government to put an end to the violence that killed around two dozen protesters.

In the shrine city of Karbala, renewed clashes also continued late into the night between protesters and security forces who fired live rounds and tear gas, according to AFP.

Protests also continued in other parts of the south of Iraq against the central government and Iran.

The demonstrators, who have taken to the streets since early October, say they want more than just a new premier and elections. They have called for a new constitution and the abolition of the parties that have dominated Iraqi politics for more than a decade.

Middle East