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Iraqi Protests Escalate, Enter Third Week

As anti-Maliki protests in Iraq enter their third week, the demonstrations are increasing in size, and all sides are urging calm and restraint, writes Ali Abel Sadah.
Iraqi Sunni Muslims carry a mock coffin during an anti-government demonstration in Falluja, 50 km (30 miles) west of Baghdad, December 28, 2012. Tens of thousands of protesters from Iraq's Sunni Muslim minority poured onto the streets after Friday prayers in a show of force against Shi'ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, keeping up a week-old blockade of a highway. Around 60,000 people blocked the main road through the city of Falluja, setting fire to the Iranian flag and shouting "out, out Iran! Baghdad sta
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Protests among Iraq’s Sunnis entered into their third week and have only increased in size. They also reached two important Sunni Mosques in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad for the first time. In response, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki tried to mobilize his supporters to take to the streets, but these attempts were in vain.

On Jan. 11 after Friday prayers, thousands in Ramadi, Mosul and Tikrit took to the streets in demonstrations titled Jum’a al-Ribaat, which roughly translates to “Binding Friday,” decrying Maliki and his policies for deliberately marginalizing Sunnis.

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