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Iraqis protest collapse of services in Baghdad

March 18, 2018 at 12:01 pm

Hundreds of Iraqis staged a sit-in in Baghdad on Sunday to protest deteriorating services in the capital’s eastern part.

Protesters set tyres on ablaze and blocked a highway linking Baghdad to the eastern province of Diyala, amid calls for Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi to intervene to improve the quality of services in the area.

“We are protesting to force the government to do its duty towards citizens,” Abdel-Jabbar Khalaf, a protester from the Shia-majority Al-Maamel neighbourhood, told agencies.

Khalaf said there is a total collapse of services in their area.

“Despite our repeated appeals, the government has failed to do its job,” he said.

Without elaborating, Khalaf vowed further steps if the government failed to improve services in their area.

Meanwhile, dozens of employees in the local electricity company demonstrated in the northern city of Kirkuk to demand their unpaid salaries.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Police Capt. Hamed al-Obaidi said some of the employees have not been paid for six months.

Iraq suffers from an acute financial crisis due to dropped oil prices and anti-terrorism military expenses.