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Demonstrators Rally Outside Baghdad's Green Zone


Iraq has been hit by weeks of political turmoil surrounding Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi's efforts to set up a technocrat government. (file photo)

Iraq has been hit by weeks of political turmoil surrounding Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi's efforts to set up a technocrat government. (file photo)

Hundreds of Shi'ite demonstrators have rallied in central Baghdad to call for reforms.

The demonstrators gathered outside the heavily fortified Green Zone where the government is headquartered.

The rally comes after powerful Shi'ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr threatened to call mass protests if lawmakers fail to vote in "a cabinet of independent technocrats" by April 19.

Last month, Sadr organized a two-week sit-in outside the Green Zone.

Iraq has been hit by weeks of political turmoil surrounding Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi's efforts to replace the cabinet of party-affiliated ministers with a government of technocrats.

Abadi has said the turmoil could threaten the campaign against the Islamic State group, which control large swaths of territory in the country's north and west.

Based on reporting by AFP and AP
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