Authorities remove tents from the square that had become the focal point of the protest movement and open a key bridge in the Iraqi capital.
Iraqi security forces have reopened a key bridge in Baghdad and cleared out tents from a sit-in in the capital’s Tahrir Square, the epicentre of an anti-establishment protest movement that erupted a year ago to demand basic services, employment opportunities and an end to corruption.
Some 600 protesters were killed and thousands of others wounded in clashes with security forces over the past year as the demonstrations became a nationwide, decentralised movement that called for a complete overhaul of the political system, before coming to a halt amid the coronavirus pandemic.
On Saturday, security forces used bulldozers to help remove some of the protesters’ tents that remained in Tahrir Square.
“The opening of Al-Jumhuriyah bridge and the removal of the tents from Tahrir Square was done in coordination with the protesters and there was no tension whatsoever,” said Major General Qais al-Mohammadawi, the head of Baghdad Operations Command.