Tear Gas and Bullets Didn’t Dissuade Protesters in Iraq

Iraq’s protesters have endured targeted attacks, abductions and killings. COVID-19 may force their movement off the streets.

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Here are the top stories for Friday, March 13th: Trump declares national emergency over coronavirus; Pelosi outlines House bill on coronavirus; Tensions rise after U.S. airstrikes in Iraq; U.S. Masters, Boston Marathon both postponed due to coronavirus.

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Here’s the latest for Friday March 13th: US Airstrikes against militia in Iraq; Pelosi says coronavirus aid deal close to done; Michigan schools closing due to virus; Virus closes Disneyland.

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Migrants Trying to Enter Europe Are About to Be Stuck Between the Greek Army and Turkish Police

EDIRINE, Turkey — Thousands of refugees and migrants from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Iran and elsewhere have been trying to push their way across the Turkish border with Greece to find their way to Europe, only to find themselves forced back with tear gas, rubber bullets and live ammunition.

On Wednesday, Turkish officials say at least one person was shot dead by Greek security forces, but Greek authorities have denied the killing.

VICE News spoke to half a dozen refugees today who witnessed Greek security forces firing live rounds at migrants rushing the border fence at the Pazarkule crossing early this morning.

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Moroccan health workers scan passengers arriving to airport amid virus fears | AFP

Moroccan health workers scan passengers arriving to Casablanca Mohammed V International Airport amid coronavirus fears. More than 90,000 people have been infected and around 3,200 have died worldwide, with Iraq reporting its first death from the disease on Wednesday while dozens have died so far in neighbouring Iran.

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Iraq: all-women protest held in holy city of Najaf | AFP

Hundreds of Iraqi women stage a march in the Shiite holy city of Najaf insisting on their right to play a central role in the protest movement sweeping the country.

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Iraqis wanted to topple the system, but taboos fell instead | AFP

Mocking clerics, falling in love at rallies and mending a broken society: even if Iraq’s young protesters have failed to overthrow entrenched politicians, they have scored by shattering decades-old taboos.

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Iraq protesters rally in Karbala for one of their own to become PM | AFP

Hundreds of Iraqis rally in Karbala to support a protest leader they want as prime minister instead of current premier-designate Mohammad Allawi, whom they see as too close to the ruling class. Students hit the streets carrying photos of Alaa al-Rikaby, a pharmacist who has emerged as a prominent activist in the protest hotspot of Nasiriyah further south.

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Iraqi students protest against new PM Mohammad Allawi in Basra | AFP

Iraqi students march during an anti-government protest against the new Iraqi prime minister designate Mohammad Allawi in the southern Iraqi city of Basra. Allawi was named prime minister-designate after a hard-won consensus among Iraq’s rival parties, who had struggled to agree on a candidate since outgoing premier Adel Abdel Mahdi resigned under growing street pressure two months ago.

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Brain injuries in Iraq shows ‘unseen wounds of war’

The spotlight on brain injuries suffered by American troops in Iraq this month is an example of America’s episodic attention to this invisible war wound, which has affected hundreds of thousands over the past two decades but is not yet fully understood. (Jan. 30)

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Blocked roads and burning tires as Iraq protests resume | AFP

Iraqi protesters blocked roads on Tuesday in an attempt to pressure authorities to implement long-awaited reforms. Anti-government rallies have rocked Iraq since October but had thinned out in recent weeks amid spiralling tensions between Baghdad’s key allies Tehran and Washington.

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Black smoke rises from burning tyres blocking a bridge in Iraq’s Nasiriyah | AFP

Black smoke rises from burning tyres blocking the Fahed bridge in Nasiriyah, as thousands of anti-government demonstrators sought to shut streets across the country, after the deadline they had given authorities to implement long-awaited reforms expired.

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Iraqis protest in Karbala as deadline to implement reforms expires | AFP

Iraqis take to the streets in the shrine city of Karbala as a deadline they had given authorities to implement long-awaited reforms expires today. Rallies have rocked Iraq since October but, fearing they would lose momentum amid spiralling regional tensions, protesters last Monday told the government it had one week to meet their demands or they would escalate.

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Iraq protests swell with youth angry at slow pace of reform | AFP

Protests escalated across Iraq’s capital Baghdad as demonstrators sealed off streets with burning tyres in outrage at the government’s slow pace of reform.

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