By night, Baghdad's streets are eerily quiet, punctuated with smatterings of gunfire -- be it a single shot or something more sustained and intense.
Roads leading to popular protest areas are blocked off, lined with security forces slumped up against buildings or napping on the hoods of their Humvee vehicles.
This relative calm belies the chaos that erupted over the past week as thousands protested across the country against government corruption, lack of basic services and growing unemployment.
The scale of the protests took the government by surprise; officials have attempted to regain control by imposing curfews and internet blackouts.
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On Saturday night, the Saudi-owned al-Arabiya TV station said masked men beat up their employees and smashed equipment. A number of other local stations also said their offices were targeted.
Activists have viewed the attacks as part of a broader effort to suppress the media. Many also claim the government is afraid of what will happen if countless videos showing atrocities are uploaded once the country is back online.