Iraqi demonstrators take to the streets in the southern city of Basra to show solidarity with country’s Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Holding pictures of al-Maliki the protesters chanted slogans in support of the premier and denounced former member of Saddam Hussein’s regime, Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri for instigating anti-government demonstrations.
Iraq has been the scene of anti-government demonstrations since December 23, 2012, when bodyguards of Finance Minister Rafie al-Issawi were arrested on terrorism-related charges.The demonstrators allege that the arrests were made on sectarian grounds and demand an end to anti-terrorism laws. The government says it is up to the parliament to decide on abolishing those laws. This is while, earlier, the Iraqi premier warned that terrorists are trying to infiltrate into anti-government protests in the western province of Anbar to provoke confrontations between security forces and the demonstrators. He said members of al-Qaeda terrorist group as well as remnants of former Ba’athist regime, disguised as protesters are trying to provoke the people and surge “terrorist attacks” against the protesters. AO/HN