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Iraqis Hold Protests Against Corruption

Tens of thousands of Iraqis have demonstrated against corruption in Baghdad and other cities south of the capital.

The demonstrators at Baghdad’s Tahrir Square on August 28 included supporters of radical Shi’ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.

Smaller rallies were held in Karbala, Basra, and Babil.

Iraq's top Shi’ite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, earlier called on the government to show it was seeking genuine change to combat rampant corruption and improve services like power, water, and medical care.

In a message delivered by a representative in a Friday sermon, Sistani also cautioned protesters who have staged weekly rallies to press demands for reform that they must guard against groups seeking to hijack their movement to further other interests.

Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi has responded to the rallies, which began last month, with a reform program.

Based on reporting by AFP and AP