Connect with us

Foreign

Iraqi PM, Chinese ambassador discuss means to boost bilateral ties

Published

on

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi on Saturday received Chinese Ambassador to Iraq Zhang Tao and the two discussed means to boost bilateral ties.

Zhang congratulated al-Kadhimi for taking office after gaining the confidence of the Iraqi parliament.

The ambassador also confirmed China‘s willingness to develop relations with Iraq and asserted China‘s stance in respecting Iraq’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

For his part, al-Kadhimi said that Iraq appreciates China‘s support in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic and he looks forward to strengthening economic cooperation in a way that addresses the current crisis caused by the decline in oil prices.

Al-Kadhimi also expressed Iraq’s desire to attract investments from Chinese companies in the country in the fields of energy and agriculture.

On May 6, al-Kadhimi was sworn in as the new prime minister in Iraq, following the approval of the parliament on most of his cabinet members.

On April 26, a Chinese team of medical experts left Iraq after a 50-day stay to support Iraq in fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic. China has also donated batches of medical supplies to Iraq to help to combat the coronavirus.

(XINHUA)

Olawale Olukoga: is a graduate and a professionally trained journalist, with experience in national news reporting/editing and verification at the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]nnn.com.ng

Foreign

Putin, Iraqi PM discuss oil market, Syria over phone

Published

on

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday held a phone conversation with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, to discuss stabilizing the global oil market and the situation in Syria, the Kremlin said in a statement.

Putin and al-Kadhimi gave a positive assessment to the agreements on oil output cuts reached with the participation of Russia and Iraq in the OPEC+ format, which are aimed at overcoming the acute phase of the oil crisis, the statement said.

They stressed the importance of continuing effective joint efforts in this direction, it said.

While discussing the situation in Syria, Putin and al-Kadhimi agreed to further coordinate steps to ensure a long-term normalization of the situation in the war-torn Middle East country and restoration of its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The two leaders discussed issues concerning bilateral cooperation in trade, the economy and energy and expressed the wish to further develop the traditionally friendly ties between their countries, the statement said.

Putin congratulated al-Kadhimi on assuming his office earlier this month, and the Iraqi people on the occasion of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr celebrated during the past weekend.

Putin and al-Kadhimi agreed to continue the bilateral contacts at various levels, the statement said.

(XINHUA)

Continue Reading

Foreign

Iraqi makes traditional cookies for Eid al-Fitr in Baghdad

Published

on

An Iraqi makes traditional cookies known as Kleicha for the Eid al-Fitr in Baghdad, Iraq, on May 23, 2020. Kleicha, a popular cookie made with flour and butter in Iraq, is in various shapes with fillings. (Xinhua/Khalil Dawood)

Continue Reading

Foreign

Turkish, Iraqi leaders discuss cooperation against COVID-19

Published

on

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Iraqi counterpart Barham Salih on Friday discussed the latest developments related to the COVID-19 pandemic over the phone.

The two leaders addressed the cooperation possibilities in the fight against the coronavirus, the state-run Anadolu agency said.

Erdogan and Salih also discussed regional developments as well as bilateral issues, it added.

Turkey reported 952 new COVID-19 cases and 27 more deaths on Friday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 154,500 and the death toll to 4,276.

The Turkish government has recently started a normalization process as the figures related to the COVID-19 cases tend to decrease.

(XINHUA)

Continue Reading

Foreign

Iraqi PM, U.S. official hold phone talks over cooperation

Published

on

The Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday discussed economic, political and security cooperation between the two countries.

A statement by the prime minister’s office said that al-Kadhimi held a phone call with Pompeo and the two sides “discussed the global economic crisis and its impact on oil prices and the Iraqi economy.”

The talks came after al-Kadhimi was sworn in on May 6 as the new prime minister in Iraq, following the approval of the parliament on most of his cabinet members.

(XINHUA)

Continue Reading

Foreign

Iraqi forces launch offensive to hunt down IS remnants in 3 provinces

Published

on

Iraqi security forces on Sunday launched an offensive to hunt down remnants of Islamic State (IS) militants in the desert and rugged areas in the provinces of Anbar, Salahudin and Nineveh as well as the border areas with Syria.

The Iraqi soldiers and paramilitary Hashd Shaabi brigades, backed by the Iraqi aircraft, pushed in six routes to search the Jazira desert which extends in the three provinces, the media office of the Joint Operations Command (JOC) said in a statement.

“The operation was launched to enhance security and stability in these areas, pursue terrorist elements and arrest those wanted,” the statement said, adding more information will be released later.

The offensive came as the extremist IS militants intensified their attacks on the security forces, including Hashd Shaabi forces, and civilians in the formerly IS-controlled Sunni provinces since the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan, resulting in the killing and wounding of dozens.

The security situation in Iraq has been improving since Iraqi security forces fully defeated the IS militants across the country late in 2017.

However, IS remnants have since melted in urban areas or deserts and rugged areas, carrying out frequent guerilla attacks against security forces and civilians.

(XINHUA)

Continue Reading

Foreign

Iraqi PM says security forces to launch anti-IS offensive

Published

on

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi on Saturday said that the Iraqi forces will launch a major offensive to eradicate Islamic State (IS) militants, and that the paramilitary Hashd Shaabi fighters will be at the forefront of the security forces in the upcoming offensive.

A statement by his office said that al-Kadhimi made his comment during a visit to the headquarters of the Hashd Shaabi Command, in which he said “we are about to conduct a final offensive to root out IS organization, which is trying to reorganize its remnants.”

“The Hashd Shaabi fighters are at the forefront of implementing this offensive alongside their brothers in the army and the other security forces,” al-Kadhimi said.

Al-Kadhimi’s comment came as the extremist IS militants intensified their attacks on the security forces, including Hashd Shaabi forces, and civilians in the Sunni provinces which once were under the control of IS militants, since the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan, resulting in the killing and wounding of dozens of people.

The security situation in Iraq has been improving since Iraqi security forces fully defeated the IS militants across the country late in 2017.

However, IS remnants have since melted in urban areas or resorted to deserts and rugged areas, carrying out frequent guerilla attacks against security forces and civilians.

(XINHUA)

Continue Reading

Foreign

Iraqi health minister praises China’s role in combating coronavirus

Published

on

The Iraqi Minister of Health Hassan al-Tamimi on Saturday praised China‘s instrumental role in supporting Iraq in fighting against the spread of coronavirus, as the health authorities are preparing for a major campaign across the country.

“The People’s Republic of China has played a great role in providing us with medical supplies. We also have cooperation with other countries, but China has a distinctive role in providing large quantities of supplies for diagnosing the disease and our cooperation is continuing with it,” al-Tamimi said in a press conference at a medicine warehouse in western Baghdad.

Al-Tamimi’s comments came as the Iraqi health ministry has been importing different medical supplies to support the diagnosis capacity in the country.

Al-Tamimi also supervised the distribution of the test kits and other medical supplies to health departments in Baghdad and other provinces with the aim of launching a major campaign to conduct tests to detect infections of COVID-19.

“Today we enter a new stage after the arrival of these laboratory supplies, and tomorrow we will begin a massive campaign in the areas that have witnessed a rise in the number of infections of COVID-19,” al-Tamimi added.

Also on Saturday, a ministry statement confirmed 67 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of infections to 3,260 in the country.

The new cases were recorded after 3,100 tests were carried out during the past 24 hours across the country, and a total of 146,594 tests since the outbreak of the disease, the ministry said in a statement.

So far, up to 121 people have died from the disease, while 2,126 have recovered, the statement said.

Iraq has been taking measures to contain the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, including a nationwide curfew.

On April 26, a Chinese team of medical experts left Iraq after a 50-day stay to support Iraq in fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. China has also donated batches of medical supplies to Iraq to help combat the coronavirus.

Continue Reading

Foreign

Feature: Iraqis spend tough Ramadan amid anti-coronavirus lockdown measures

Published

on

For many Iraqis, this year’s Ramadan has been stripped of its warm nights, with most traditional rituals and activities going by the wayside amid the curfew and other health restriction measures that have been imposed across the nation since the COVID-19 outbreak.

For Muslims, Ramadan is the holiest month of the Islamic year. They observe fasting throughout the month from dawn to sunset.

Ramadan is also characterized by charity, when almost all well-off families and even those who just live hand-to-mouth will lend a helping hand to the disabled and deprived.

However, the anti-coronavirus lockdown measures this year have exacerbated poverty in the country, where almost all people including day laborers, stall vendors and many self-employed craftsmen are struggling to meek ends meet.

“As if long years of conflict and bloodletting in the years after 2003 were not enough for Iraqis, so the pandemic of coronavirus came to make the poverty even worse,” Ali Mohammed, a 35-year-old shop owner in the south of the capital Baghdad, told Xinhua.

He complained that he lost his shop because he could not afford his rent and debts during the full curfew.

Even after the curfew was partially lifted, Mohammed said he was unable to earn his keep because of the depression of the market.

“I was obliged to seek any daily job to put food on the table for my wife and two daughters, and I even … looked for jobs during the daylight fasting time,” the Iraqi man told Xinhua.

In one of Baghdad’s poorest neighborhood of al-Doulai, Imad Hussein, 33, said he used to earn 75,000 Iraqi dinars (62.8 U.S. dollars) a week by working for a shop owner, but he lost the income source when the full curfew was imposed.

“Thousands of people like me suddenly earn zero income while the government did not take any action to help us earn our families’ food,” Hussein told Xinhua.

Like in other parts of the world, local humanitarian and charity organizations as well as individual volunteers have been working hard since the beginning of Ramadan to help the poor families through the lockdown period.

“My team of volunteers have collected more than 1,650 food baskets to distribute them to poor families in Baghdad, especially those who lost their jobs because of the health measures to curb the spread of coronavirus,” Ibrahim Jasim, one of the volunteers, told Xinhua.

(XINHUA)

Continue Reading

Foreign

UN extends assistance to Iraqi displaced, refugee families affected by COVID-19

Published

on

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) on Wednesday said that they are increasing their collaboration to help vulnerable people in Iraq to cope with the impact of coronavirus pandemic.

The two agencies and other partners are working to “identify an additional 35,000 Syrian refugees and 10,000 people displaced by conflict who will be included in WFP food assistance programmes to help them cope with the impact of COVID-19,” UNHCR and WFP said in a joint statement.

It said that WFP will now reach to 76,000 refugees who will receive food assistance and 280,000 internally displaced persons, many of them were in a position to stop receiving assistance but are now being pushed into food insecurity due to the impact of the pandemic.

“To help families purchase basic hygiene items to prevent the spread of COVID-19, UNHCR continues the second month of hygiene cash assistance, supporting 550,000 refugee, internally displaced, and returnee members of the community,” the statement said, adding this is part of UNHCR’s package of assistance which includes strengthening health care services and disinfection activities in camps.

“UNHCR and WFP in Iraq are appealing for 26 and 31.9 million U.S. dollars respectively for their COVID-19 response,” the statement said.

Both agencies are also implementing emergency livelihoods projects to provide essential support to vulnerable families and inject cash into the local communities, it added.

The statement came as the Iraqi Health Ministry confirmed 119 new COVID-19 cases, record high since the outbreak in Iraq, bringing the total number of infections to 3,032 in the country.

On April 26, a Chinese team of medical experts left Iraq after a 50-day stay to support Iraq in fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. China has also donated batches of medical supplies to Iraq to help combat the coronavirus.

(XINHUA)

Continue Reading

Foreign

Egypt’s president congratulates Iraqi new PM, voices deep bilateral ties

Published

on

Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Monday congratulated Mustafa al-Kadhimi on taking office as the new prime minister of Iraq and on the formation of the cabinet, the presidential office said in a statement.

In a phone conversation, Sisi highlighted the importance of the historic deep bilateral ties, stressing “Egypt’s fixed support for the security and stability of Iraq.”

For his part, al-Kadhimi hailed the strong strategic relations between the two countries and Egyptian supportive role for the Iraqi issues.

The new Iraqi prime minister also confirmed his keenness for promoting bilateral cooperation in different fields.

(XINHUA)

Continue Reading

Foreign

Arab League welcomes formation of Iraqi new gov’t

Published

on

The Arab League (AL) welcomed on Friday the formation of the Iraqi government led by Prime Minister-designate Mustafa al-Kadhimi, voicing support for the country.

In a statement, the AL’s Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul-Gheit urged the swift formation of the cabinet ministers, wishing “the new government could face the ongoing challenges and meet the legitimate demands that the people have been asking for since October 2019.”

He voiced readiness of the pan-Arab body for cooperating with Iraqi new government in maintaining the country’s unity and stability in the current critical conditions.

He reiterated the Iraqi government faces enormous economic and political challenges for keeping good relations with Arab neighboring countries especially amid international and regional conflicts.

Al-Kadhimi on Wednesday was sworn in as the country’s new prime minister after weeks of political negotiations.

(XINHUA)

Continue Reading

Foreign

Iraqi PM-designate sends gov’t program to parliament for approval

Published

on

Iraqi prime minister-designate Mustafa al-Kadhimi sent on Wednesday the government program to the parliament before sending the cabinet portfolios for approval.

In a tweet on his page, al-Kadhimi said the “government program was delivered to the parliament today, and the candidates for the cabinet portfolios will follow in the coming days to schedule the voting session within the constitutional period.”

Al-Kadhimi, 53, has headed the Iraqi Intelligence Service since June 2016.

On April 9, Iraqi President Barham Salih named al-Kadhimi as prime minister-designate to replace Adnan al-Zurfi, and handed him the task letter to form a new government within 30 days.

According to the Iraqi constitution, the prime minister-designate has 30 days to put together a cabinet and present it to the parliament for approval. Each individual minister must be approved in separate absolute majority votes in the parliament.

(XINHUA)

Continue Reading

Foreign

Iraqi forces foil suicide bomb attack in Kirkuk

Published

on

The Iraqi security forces on Tuesday foiled an attack by two suicide bombers on a security headquarters in the northern city of Kirkuk, leaving three people wounded, a local security source said.

The attack took place in the morning when two suicide bombers tried to storm the gate at the entrance of the Intelligence Directorate in al-Qadisiyah neighborhood in Kirkuk, some 250 km north of the Iraqi capital Baghdad, Thair al-Obeidi from the city police told Xinhua.

The guards at the gate of the directorate fired at the attackers and killed one of them, but the other one blew himself up before reaching the gate, al-Obeidi said.

The blast of the suicide bomber wounded two policemen and a civilian, al-Obeidi added.

The security forces intensified their presence at the scene and were deployed in nearby neighborhoods to secure the city, he said.

No group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack, but the Islamic State (IS) militant group, in most cases, was responsible for such suicide attacks targeting security forces and areas where crowds of people gather, including markets, cafes and mosques across Iraq.

Despite repeated military operations against the remnants of IS militants, the extremist militants are hiding in deserts, rugged areas as well as in Himreen mountain range which extends in the three provinces of Diyala, Salahudin and Kirkuk. They are capable of carrying out frequent guerilla attacks against security forces and civilians.

Earlier, the Iraqi Joint Operations Command said in a statement that a total of 135 IS militants have been killed in Iraq during the period between Jan. 1 to April 15 through 1,060 anti-IS operations by the Iraqi security forces.

It said that up to 88 security members and 82 civilians were also killed by the extremist militants during the same period.
(XINHUA)

Continue Reading

Foreign

IS attacks Iraqi militia group in E Syria

Published

on

The Islamic State (IS) attacked the Iraqi Hezbollah group in eastern Syria on Thursday, leaving two killed and five wounded, a war monitor reported.

The IS attacked the Iraqi Hezbollah group in the desert region of the city of Mayadeen in the eastern countryside of Deir al-Zour province in eastern Syria, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The Iraqi Hezbollah group fights alongside the Syrian government forces in several areas, mainly in eastern Syria.

The IS group has been carrying out attacks in eastern Syria, targeting Syrian forces and allied fighters.

The observatory said that as many as 418 Syrian soldiers and pro-government fighters have been killed by IS attacks in eastern Syria since March 24.

The IS lost key areas across the country, but sleeper cells and some groups in the desert region often launch attacks on Syrian forces.
(XINHUA)

Continue Reading

Foreign

China hands medical aid to Iraqi military to contain COVID-19

Published

on

Chinese Ambassador to Iraq Zhang Tao on Wednesday handed medical aid to Iraqi Ministry of Defense to fight COVID-19.

“During the past two months, China has provided Iraq with three batches of medical aid,” Zhang said in a handover ceremony in Baghdad, adding that the ministry played an important role in transporting supplies from China to Iraq.

China and Iraq are good friends and dear partners. When China went through difficulties and challenges over COVID-19, the Iraqi side gave a hand to China. Therefore, when Iraq faces difficulties, we are keen to provide assistance to Iraq,” Zhang said.

“This is what real friends should do,” he added.

Iraqi Minister of Defense Najah al-Shammari expressed gratitude for China‘s assistance to the Iraqi people and government.

COVID-19 is a global pandemic that has affected all countries of the world, which needs extensive international cooperation in all fields, especially in the medical field,” al-Shammari said, describing the medical cooperation between Iraq and China as “more than excellent.”

Al-Shammari praised China‘s efforts in supporting Iraq to confront the outbreak of coronavirus by sending medical aid, laboratory testing devices, and a team of experts, who trained medical personnel in nine Iraqi provinces.

Earlier on Monday, China sent the third medical batch to Baghdad as part of China‘s assistance to boost Iraq’s capability to contain the COVID-19 outbreak.

On March 7, China sent the first batch of medical aid to Iraq, with a medical team of seven Chinese experts to work with their Iraqi counterparts to fight the coronavirus, while the second batch of aid arrived on April 8.
(XINHUA)

Continue Reading

Foreign

IS militants killed in Iraqi airstrike in north of Baghdad

Published

on

Iraqi warplanes on Sunday carried out airstrikes on hideouts of Islamic State (IS) militants in Salahudin province, leaving a number of the extremist militants killed, the Iraqi military said.

Acting on intelligence reports, the F-16 fighter jets bombed IS hideouts at an island in the Tigris River near the town of al-Dour, some 150 km north of the Iraqi capital Baghdad, the media office of the Iraqi Joint Operations Command said in a statement.

The airstrikes resulted in the killing of a number of IS militants and the destruction of their hideouts, the statement said without giving further details.

However, Mohammed al-Bazi from Salahudin provincial police told Xinhua that at least three IS militants were initially confirmed killed in the airstrikes.

In a separate incident, an Iraqi soldier was killed and another wounded when IS militants ambushed an Iraqi army force at a village near Qara-Chokh Mountain outside the town of Makhmour, some 100 km southeast of the northern city of Mosul, a source from the Kurdish security forces, known as Peshmerga, told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

Later in the day, a joint force from the Iraqi army and the Peshmerga carried out a search operation in the nearby areas looking for the attackers, the source said.

The security situation in Iraq has been improved since Iraqi security forces fully defeated the extremist IS militants across the country late in 2017.

However, IS remnants have since melted in urban areas or resorted to deserts and rugged areas, carrying out frequent guerilla attacks against security forces and civilians.
(XINHUA)

Continue Reading

Foreign

UN envoy condemns use of hunting rifles against Iraqi protesters

Published

on

The top United Nations envoy to Iraq, on Monday, condemned the use of hunting rifles firing birdshot against peaceful protesters in Baghdad and urged the government to ensure they are not harmed.

Iraq faces an extraordinary domestic crisis as almost 500 people have died in months of protests demanding the ouster of what demonstrators see as a corrupt ruling elite and an end to foreign interference mainly by Iran and the U.S.

The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq said it had received credible allegations of protesters being targeted with hunting rifles, stones and firebombs on the nights of Feb. 14 to Feb. 16, leading to no less than 50 injuries.

UNAMI said in a statement that no fewer than 150 people were injured in the Shi’ite Muslim holy city of Kerbala in January alone, due to similar tactics.

Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Iraq said that the continued pattern of the use of excessive force, with ambiguously identified armed groups and unclear loyalties, is a grave security concern that must be tackled urgently and decisively.

“Peaceful protesters should be protected at all times,’’ Hennis-Plasschaert said.

However, there was no immediate comment from Iraqi authorities.

On Saturday, Prime Minister-designate Mohammed Tawfiq Allawi said a new government would be formed in the coming week.

Allawi appealed to Iraqis for their support, hours after his appointment by President Barham Salih.

However, protesters have already rejected him as a stooge of the political elite.

Edited By: Abiodun Oluleye/Abdulfatah Babatunde

Continue Reading

Foreign

Iraqi authorities reopen Baghdad Bridge shut for months by protests

Published

on

Iraqi authorities reopened one of Baghdad’s major bridges on Wednesday, shut for months by anti-government protesters, in a sign of a lull in unrest that has killed hundreds of people.

The Sinak Bridge, one of the main routes across the Tigris River that bisects the city, leads to a district near the fortified Green Zone of government and diplomatic buildings.

It runs parallel to another major bridge, Al Jumhuriya, which connects the Green Zone itself to the main protest camp at Tahrir Square, and which remains shut.

Lieutenant General Mohammed al-Bayati, the secretary of the commander-in-chief of the Iraqi armed forces said “ with the cooperation of protesters, we were able to re-open the Sinak bridge to let vehicles and residents cross freely.’’

Security forces could be seen near cranes lifting cement barricades put up to block protesters from crossing the bridge. Some tents belonging to protesters were still in place.

Nearly 500 people have been killed in demonstrations which have raged since October, demanding the removal of what protesters see as a corrupt ruling elite and an end to foreign interference mainly by Iran and the U.S.

The Baghdad military operations office called on remaining protesters to stay at their main protest camp in Tahrir square, state TV reported.

A driver on the newly reopened bridge told Reuters TV “the re-opening of the bridge makes me happy. the government should work to satisfy citizens. We don’t want anything else. We want life to come back to normal.’’

Edited By: Hadiza Mohammed/Felix Ajide

Continue Reading

Foreign

NATO willing to expand Iraqi training mission to meet Trump demand

Published

on

Senior officials and diplomats on Tuesday said NATO is considering an increase to its training mission in Iraq to relieve the burden on the U.S. led coalition against Islamic State.

NATO and the coalition have non-combat `train-and-advise’ missions, which aim to develop Iraqi security forces but both are suspended over fears for regional stability after a U.S. drone strike killed a top Iranian commander in Baghdad on Jan. 3.

After the killing, U.S. President Donald Trump called on NATO, founded in 1949 to contain a military threat from the Soviet Union to do more in the Middle East but he has not specified publicly what that might entail.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said NATO defense ministers including U.S. Secretary of State Mark Esper will discuss options for non-combat operations in the Middle East at a two-day meeting in Brussels starting on Wednesday.

“We are discussing what more NATO can do,’’ he told reporters, adding that the alliance would first seek to restart the training with the Iraqi government’s blessing.

U.S. Ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison said the alliance was also seeking military advice, both from NATO and Iraq, on how to increase the mission, but gave no details.

“I think it will definitely be the answer to what President Trump has requested,’’ she said.

Edited By: Hadiza Mohammed/Felix Ajide

Continue Reading

Foreign

Dozens of Iraqi protesters wounded as anti-government unrest resumes

Published

on

Dozens of Iraqi protesters wounded as anti-government unrest resumes: Dozens of Iraqi protesters were wounded on Monday, in Baghdad and other cities, in clashes with security forces who were trying to clear blocked roads, security and medical sources said.

This is as anti-government unrest resumed after a lull of several weeks.

Reuter’s witnesses said that in Baghdad’s Tayaran Square overnight, protesters threw petrol bombs and stones at the Police who responded with tear gas and stun grenades.

Elsewhere in southern Iraq, hundreds of protesters burned tyres and blocked main roads in several cities, including Nassiriya, Kerbala and Amara.

They said Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi has not fulfilled promises including naming a new government acceptable to Iraqis.

“The security forces should stop shooting and maiming; who are they and who we are? Both sides are Iraqis.

“So why are you killing your brothers?’’ a protester in Baghdad, who declined to give her name, said.

Baghdad Police said its forces had successfully reopened all the roads that were closed by “violent gatherings’’.

Mass protests have gripped Iraq since Oct. 1, 2019, with mostly young protesters demanding an overhaul of a political system they see as profoundly corrupt and as keeping most Iraqis in poverty.

Over 450 people have been killed.

Numbers had dwindled but protests resumed recently as demonstrators sought to keep up momentum after attention turned to the threat of a U.S.-Iran conflict, following Washington’s killing of Tehran’s top general in an air strike inside Iraq.

The killing of Qassem Soleimani, to which Tehran responded with a ballistic missile attack on two Iraqi military bases, has highlighted the influence of some foreign powers in Iraq, especially Iran and the U.S.

Edited by: Abiodun Oluleye/Abdulfatah Babatunde

Continue Reading

Contact US: editor @nnn.com.ng, nnnnews247 @gmail.com

Latest News