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Iraqis in Baghdad once again demonstrate for reform

Iraqis in Baghdad once again demonstrate for reform

Thousands of Sadr's supporters began a sit-in at the district's gates more than a week ago and continued to camp out despite heavy rains earlier in the day, but Sadr took the protest forward by entering the zone itself.

Iraq's parliament on Monday gave Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi until Thursday to present candidates for a new cabinet line-up.

Al-Sadr pledged to local media that he will support Abadi's reforms if they were "convincing" and called on his followers, protesters and demonstrators to maintain peace. After he began his sit-in, Mr al-Sadr's supporters erected tents and laid down mattresses.

Al-Sadr spoke to Iraqi media saying that "the reform project is a critical and present priority".

Both he and his supporters have threatened in recent weeks to storm the Green Zone, which is home to Abadi's office, parliament and many embassies, including the massive U.S. mission. The conflict between al-Abadi and al-Sadr manifests the main problem, which is a brawl for power within the national alliance, the official added.

Junior doctors begin 48-hour strike at Torbay Hospital
NHS bosses said patients booked in for planned procedures should still attend unless they had been contacted by their hospital. Currently, 7pm to 7am Monday to Friday and the whole of Saturday and Sunday attracts a premium rate of pay for junior doctors.


"I thank the security forces", Mr al-Sadr said, before beginning his sit-in.

The Green Zone, originally set up to protect US occupation forces from suicide bombings, has been kept in place by successor Iraqi authorities for security reasons.

"I hope that on Saturday the prime minister comes up with reforms towards an independent government of technocrats that are convincing for the people", he said.

While al-Abadi proposed a reform package last August, few of his plans have been implemented as the leader has made several political missteps and struggled with the country's increasingly sectarian politics amid the ongoing fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant group. Shiites dominate the central government, while the country's Kurds in the north exercise increasing autonomy and much of the Sunni population has either been displaced by violence or continues to live under IS rule.


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