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August 7, 2015

Thousands of Iraqis call for corruption crackdown amid power shortage

Citizens demand better water and electricity services as well as stricter punishment for corrupt officials.
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Iraqi men wave their national flag during a demonstration against corruption and poor services in Baghdad on August 7, 2015. (AFP/HAIDAR MOHAMMED ALI)

As the Iraqi government makes headlines with it's fight against ISIL, thousands took to the streets of Baghdad and other cities across the country on Friday to protest corruption and lack of basic services. Many, including the country's top Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, are demanding a harder stance against corrupt officials from Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.

This comes after weeks of protests as several areas experienced power outages, leaving many without electricity for hours in the midst of a hot Iraqi summer, where temperatures can reach 50 degrees Celsius. Protesters have placed the blame on corrupt official and an inadequate response from the government. 

Many shared images of the nationwide protests online, using #مظاهرات_7_اب (August 7 Demonstrations) :

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