Thousands protested throughout Iraq on Friday in anti-government demonstrations, despite security checkpoints and a vehicle ban in at least ten cities.
Baghdad: About 2,000 people demonstrated in and around Liberation Square [Tahrir Square], surrounded by hundreds of security force personnel. Mayor Saber al-Issawi has resigned.
Basra: About 1,000 people gathered at the Basra provincial council building, demanding that the council follows the lead set by the governor and step down.
Kirkuk: Nouri al-Maliki has demanded that the Kurdistan Regional Government remove thousands of its ‘peshmerga’ troops surrounding the oil-rich northern city without central government permission. Jafer Mustafa, the Kurdish minister of peshmerga, told Reuters, “Kirkuk originally was taken from the Kurdistan region and protecting it is our duty, not just that of the Iraqi government.”
(Sources: Associated Press, AKnews, Bloomberg, Reuters)