Anti-government protestors rallied in Baghdad and in areas south of the capital Wednesday as the Iraqi government faces mounting pressure to respond to weeks of demonstrations.
After easing for a few days following a crackdown by security forces in Baghdad and in major southern cities, the demonstrations flared Wednesday.
As protestors threw tear gas cannisters back towards security forces in Baghdad, some 800 students returned to a camp in the southern city of Basra after being forced out by riot police.
Iraq’s parliament will meet later Wednesday to hear United Nations’ mission in Iraq leader Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert brief lawmakers on political alliances and on her meeting with Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, Iraq’s top Shiite religious authority.
Sistani supports a U.N. plan to resolve the crisis. It calls for an immediate end to the violence, electoral reform and anti-corruption measures followed by constitutional amendments and infrastructure legislation.
Since the protests against political corruption, unemployment and poor public services began on October 1, at least 300 have been killed — mostly by security forces firing live ammunition into crowds.
The violence, however, has done little to discourage protestors from taking to the streets of Iraq.