Thousands Defy Iraqi Curfews in Baghdad

Military to ban cars, foot traffic from capital starting at midnight

The Iraqi government’s attempt to crush the protests against corruption and the continued lack of reforms has given way to a full-on curfew in Baghdad, and a noisy defiance of that curfew.

Thousands of Iraqis, including students, took to the streets of Baghdad, honking car horns and blaring music at full volume as their way of defying the coup imposed by the Iraqi military. That’s the situation as of Tuesday morning.

What happens at night is the big question. As of midnight, Iraq’s military says all cars and all foot travel in Baghdad are entirely banned, fueling speculation that the military is going to storm protest camps to forcibly clear areas of the city.

That’s in keeping with Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi’s orders to Counter Terrorism Services elite forces to do anything they have to to end protests against his rule.

Five protesters were reported killed in Monday, bringing the four day toll to 79 killed. Another 149 were killed in the previous round of crackdowns, which ended with promises of reform. Those reforms never happened, and the new protests started.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of