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Hundreds Rally In Baghdad Demanding Reforms

Several hundred Shi'ite demonstrators have rallied in central Baghdad to call for reforms.

The protesters gathered at Tahrir Square on April 17, chanting, "Yes, yes to Iraq; no, no to corruption."

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

Last month, Sadr organized a two-week sit-in in March outside Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone, where the government is headquartered.

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 controls large swathes of territory in the country's north and west.

Based on reporting by AFP and Reuters

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