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Iraqis March On War Anniversary


Supporters of Shi'ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr wave Iraqi flags during a rally in Basra on March 19.

Supporters of Shi'ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr wave Iraqi flags during a rally in Basra on March 19.

Hundreds of thousands of people have marched in southern Iraq, demanding better living conditions.

The demonstration on March 19 in the city of Basra came on the ninth anniversary of the launch of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq that ousted veteran ruler Saddam Hussein.

The demonstrators, led by loyalists of anti-American Shi'ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, raised their voices against high unemployment, corruption, and the country's dire infrastructure following years of war and economic stagnation.

The demonstration came just days before Iraq is due to host an Arab League summit -- the first summit of the 22-nation body to be held in Baghdad since Iraq's 1990 invasion of neighboring Kuwait.

With reporting by AFP and AP
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