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Iraq protesters block roads amid strike calls

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Iraqis flooded the streets of the capital and southern cities on Sunday in a general strike that bolstered the weeks-long movement demanding a government overhaul.

Sit-ins have become the go-to tactic for the rallies that erupted in early October in rage over corruption, a lack of jobs and an out-of-touch political class, AFP reported.

They have resisted efforts by security forces to snuff them out and on Sunday, thousands came out across the country after activists called for a general strike.

In parts of Baghdad, particularly the sprawling Sadr City neighborhood, protesters sat in the middle of the streets to prevent employees from getting to their workplaces.

They also blocked roads with motorcycles and tuk-tuks, snarling traffic.

“There will be no offices open until the last corrupt person is removed” one protester said, declining to be identified for security reasons.

“Only then we will pull out from here.”

At least 320 have been killed and thousands wounded since the unrest in the capital and the southern provinces began on Oct. 1.

According to The Associated Press, protesters have taken to the streets in the tens of thousands over what they say is widespread corruption, lack of job opportunities and poor basic services despite the country’s oil wealth.

Meanwhile, protesters on Sunday were trying to expand their presence in Baghdad further after seizing control of a strategic central square.

Two people were wounded when security forces fired tear gas canisters in Rasheed Street in renewed confrontations Sunday.
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