Iraq News - Local News - Baghdadpost

Iraqi pilgrims protest corruption during Arbaeen march

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Thousands of Iraqis chanted anti-corruption slogans during the Shiite Arbaeen pilgrimage to the holy city of Karbala Saturday, responding to firebrand cleric Moqtada Al Sadr's call to keep up anti-government protests.

Amid the throngs of black-clad pilgrims mourning the seventh-century death of Imam Hussein, Sadr supporters dressed in white demanded "No, to corruption!" and "Yes, to reform!".

Waving Iraqi flags, they chanted "Baghdad free, corrupt ones out!"

Sadr, whose list emerged as the largest bloc in parliamentary elections last year, helped Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi to form his government. But on Tuesday he called on Twitter for his supporters to march in shrouds

 

In a single week of protests at the start of the month, 110 people were killed and 6,000 injured, according to official figures.

Calls have been made for fresh marches on October 25, to mark the anniversary of the government that is the focus of public anger.

The annual Arbaeen pilgrimage sees millions of worshippers, mostly Iraqis and Iranians, converge by foot on Karbala, 100 kilometres south of Baghdad.

Arbaeen marks the end of the 40-day mourning period for the killing of Imam Hussein, grandson of the Prophet Mohammed, by the forces of the caliph Yazid in 680 AD.

Placards with anti-United States and anti-Israel messages are often seen in the crowd, though anti-corruption slogans are rare.

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