Iraq PM vows full probe into killings, reshuffle | The Daily Star
12:39 AM, October 11, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:41 AM, October 11, 2019


Iraq PM vows full probe into killings, reshuffle

Calm returns as 3-day nat’l mourning begins

Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi on Wednesday promised a full probe into last week’s violence that left more than 100 dead in anti-government protests, as calm returned after three days of national mourning begins.

In a televised address to the nation, Abdel Mahdi pledged a package of reforms and said his government would carry out a “thorough investigation” as well as pay compensation to the “martyrs”, both civilians and members of the security forces killed in clashes.

He also said he would propose a government reshuffle to parliament.

With the return of normal life in Baghdad, traffic has again clogged the main roads of the sprawling city of nine million inhabitants.

The government announced three days of national mourning in the wake of the unrest.

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. On 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.

According to official figures, the week of violence in Baghdad and across southern Iraq killed more than 100 people, mostly protesters but including several police, with more than 6,000 others wounded.

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