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Thu, 21 Nov 2019 08:13 GMT

Iraqi PM Discusses Protests with US Secretary of State

Politics

7Dnews London

Mon, 07 Oct 2019 14:59 GMT

Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi discussed the protests that have taken place in his country in the last week in a phone call with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, his office said in a statement on Monday October 7th.

"The Prime Minister reviewed developments in the security situation and the return to normal life after the curfew was lifted, and confirmed that security forces had resumed control and stability had been restored," the statement said.

The statement said the government has put forward a package of reforms and will continue to provide more to meet the demands of the protesters.

Hundreds had gathered on Sunday night in Sadr City, a densely populated district in eastern Baghdad where state security forces are rarely seen.

Security sources and medics said the clashes left 15 people dead overnight as police backed by the armed forces used live rounds and tear gas on the demonstrators.

Iraq's military admitted that "excessive force" was used in a district of the capital overnight.

"Excessive force outside the rules of engagement was used and we have begun to hold accountable those commanding officers who carried out these wrong acts," the military said in a statement distributed to journalists on Monday morning.

It was the first time since protests broke out that security forces acknowledged using disproportionate measures, while protesters had accused them of firing live rounds directly at them.

The military said Prime Minister had ordered "all army units to withdraw from Sadr City to be replaced with federal police units".


Middle East