Protesters Return to Streets of Baghdad After Major Bombings

Protesters Say Govt Focuses on Securing Green Zone, Not Civilians

by Jason Ditz, May 12, 2016

After a series of ISIS car bombings across Baghdad killed at least 96 people, the mood on the streets once again returned to outrage at the Abadi government, as demonstrators demonstrated in Sadr City and elsewhere, blaming corruption and incompetent security officials for the attacks.

They protect and fortify the Green Zone but not their own sons,” noted one of the protesters. The Iraqi government has, in recent weeks, sent more security forces into the Green Zone, with an eye toward preventing the protesters from returning to the closed-off, government-only center of the city.

Protesters have been rallying by the tens and even hundreds of thousands virtually every Friday in Baghdad, demanding the installation of a technocrat cabinet and more effort to tamp down corruption. The bombings appears to have gotten at least some of those protesters started a day early.

Prime Minister Hayder Abadi nominated such a cabinet nearly a month ago, though parliament has so far not only proven unable to vote on the matter, but has basically collapsed since then, unable to get together a quorum without fistfights breaking out.

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