Iraq protests: Capital Baghdad blocked as unrest escalates

Protesters have blocked the main thoroughfares in the Iraqi capital Baghdad, as mass anti-government protests continue.

Demonstrators were seen parking cars across key junctions of the city as police looked on without intervening.

Since 1 October, tens of thousands of people have taken part in two waves of protests to demand more jobs, an end to corruption, and better services.

More than 250 have been killed in clashes with security forces.

Last week, Iraqi President Barham Saleh said Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi would resign if political parties could agree on his replacement.

What’s happening in Baghdad?

On Sunday, protesters shut down the main roads of the capital. They continued to defy a curfew introduced in late October.

Students staged sit-ins at their schools and government offices were closed on the first day of the working week in the Muslim nation.

“We decided to cut the roads as a message to the government that we will keep protesting until the corrupt people and thieves are kicked out and the regime falls,” Tahseen Nasser, a 25-year-old protester, was quoted as saying by the AFP news agency.

“We’re not allowing government workers to reach their offices, just those in humanitarian fields,” he said.