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ON THE GROUND

Rival protesters clash in Iraq as unrest continues

Anti-government protesters in Iraq treating wounded colleagues, February 4 2020.
Anti-government protesters in Iraq treating wounded colleagues, February 4 2020. © FRANCE 24 - screengrab
3 min

Anti-government demonstrators faced off against followers of influential cleric Moqtada Sadr across Iraq on Tuesday, a day after one demonstrator was killed in a clash between the two sides.

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The split has been caused over the nomination of Mohammad Allawi as Iraq’s new prime minister.

Tensions have been high in protest squares in recent days between youths furious at Allawi’s nomination and Sadrists.

On Monday, a demonstrator was stabbed to death and three others wounded after Sadr supporters, known as 'blue hats'; attacked an anti-regime rally, medics and security sources said.

Allawi, 65, was nominated on February 1 after two months of political stalemate over who would replace ex-premier Adel Abdel Mahdi, who resigned in December.

Allawi has vowed to ensure justice for protest-related violence.

Hundreds of people have been killed in Iraq since anti-government protests started last October and NGOs have reported kidnappings of political activists.

Watch this special FRANCE 24 report by Ibrahim Saleh and Carys Garland.

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