World Bulletin / News Desk
Thousands of civil servants loyal to firebrand Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr went on strike on Sunday in the latest sign of escalation against the Iraqi government.
On Friday, the Shia cleric urged employees -- except for security forces -- to stage a two-day strike on Sunday to pressure Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi to form a technocrat government.
He also called on Iraqis to launch a hunger strike inside mosques, shrines and churches as of Friday as a way of piling pressure on al-Abadi to replace his government.
According to Anadolu Agency reporter at the scene, employees have gathered outside government institutions waving anti-corruption banners.
“We have begun our strike in response to al-Sadr’s call,” Ibrahim Falih, one of the striking employees in the capital Baghdad, told Anadolu Agency.
“We will continue our strike until Monday in line with al-Sadr’s directions,” he said.
For months, al-Sadr loyalists have been staging a series of protests to pressure the Iraqi premier to unveil a government of technocrats untainted by corruption or sectarian affiliations.
Iraq ranks the 161st out of 168 countries on Transparency International’s "corruption perceptions index".Last Mod: 04 Eylül 2016, 12:19