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Iraqi PM Orders Militias To Ease Street Access In Baghdad And Elsewhere

Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi has ordered military commanders to make it easier for civilians to get into Baghdad's fortified Green Zone and to ease street access elsewhere across Iraq.

Militias, political parties, and influential figures have created many no-go areas in Baghdad and other cities in response to waves of car bombings since the U.S.-led invasion to topple Saddam Hussein in 2003.

The Green Zone is a heavily defended district in central Baghdad that is home to many government buildings and several Western embassies.

Ahead of fresh street protests expected in the capital and southern cities on August 28, Abadi ordered commanders to implement a plan "to protect civilians ... from being targeted by terrorism", according to online statements.

Abadi is pushing major reforms in Iraq to weed out corruption and incompetence which he says deprive Iraqis of basic services.

Based on reporting by Reuters