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HomeMiddle EastIraq’s deadly unrest closes roads, schools across south

Iraq’s deadly unrest closes roads, schools across south

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KARBALA: Iraqi protesters sealed streets with burning tyres across the country’s restive south on Wednesday, as schools and public offices stayed shut a day after anti-government rallies devolved into bloodshed.
For nearly two months, the country’s capital and Shiite-majority south have been gripped by the largest protests since the 2003 US-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein.
The rallies have paralysed daily life in many towns and cities, with schools intermittently closed, streets shuttered and government offices empty.
On Wednesday, religious authorities in Iraq’s holy city of Karbala ordered their network of private schools there, as well as in nearby Babylon and the second holy city of Najaf, kept shut for two days.
They feared a repeat of the previous day’s chaos, when anti-government demonstrations devolved into clashes between riot police and protesters, leaving one dead.
Karbala, visited by millions of Shiite pilgrims from around the world each year, had seen deadly skirmishes at night, but they have increasingly spilt over into the day.

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