SAT 18 - 1 - 2020
Oct 10, 2019
The Daily Star
Calm returns to Iraq, as US condemns violence
Agence France Presse
BAGHDAD: Calm prevailed in Iraq Wednesday after a week of anti-government protests left more than 100 dead, prompting the United States to call on the country's government to exercise "maximum restraint".
In Baghdad - the second most populous Arab capital - normal life has gradually resumed since Tuesday.
Traffic has again clogged the main roads of the sprawling city of nine million inhabitants. Students have returned to schools, whose reopening was disrupted by the violence.
On Tuesday, security restrictions were lifted around Baghdad's Green Zone, where government offices and embassies are based.
Iraq descended into violence last week as protests that began with demands for an end to rampant corruption and chronic unemployment escalated with calls for a complete overhaul of the political system.
The demonstrations were unprecedented because of their apparent spontaneity and independence in a deeply politicised society.
Protesters were met with tear gas and live fire. Sunday night, scenes of chaos engulfed Sadr City, the Baghdad stronghold of influential Shiite leader Moqtada al-Sadr, who called for the government to resign.
At least 13 demonstrators died in Sadr City, where the military recognised "excessive force outside the rules of engagement" had been used.
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