Followers of Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr are seen in central Baghdad, Iraq on April 30, 2016. Thousands of followers of Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr on Saturday stormed the heavily fortified Green Zone in central Baghdad and took control of the parliament building and surrounding areas, while dozens of lawmakers, officials and employees tried to escape the government district. [Xinhua]
. [Xinhua]

Iraqi security forces on Wednesday reopened areas in downtown Baghdad and warned that anti-government protests go on only in al-Tahrir Square under the protection of the Iraqi forces.

A statement by Baghdad Operations Command (BOC), responsible for the security of Baghdad province, said that the security forces reopened al-Khalani and Wathba Squares, as well as al-Sinak Bridge and al-Rashid Street, and the security forces want to protect the demonstration in Tahrir Square and at the same time to secure traffic movement in the capital.

“BOC warned demonstrators of rushing outside al-Tahrir Square, or using violence against the security forces, because they will take legal measures,” the statement said.

In the early morning, the security forces began to lift the concrete barriers from al-Sinak Bridge and clean up the nearby squares and streets to open them in front of the vehicles movement.

The latest move came after cooperation between the security forces and peaceful demonstrators inside al-Tahrir Square, the epicenter of Iraq’s anti-government protests, according to the statement.

Mass anti-government demonstrations have been continuing in the capital Baghdad and other cities in central and southern Iraq since October of 2019, demanding comprehensive reform, fight against corruption, better public services and more job opportunities. Enditem

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Xinhua News Agency, Xinhuanet is an important central news service-oriented website, an important information organ of the central government, and an important platform for building up China's online international communication capacity. Established on November 7, 1997, as an online news provider of the Xinhua News Agency, it was officially named Xinhuanet on March 10, 2000 and began around-the-clock news release with leading online public opinion at home and setting a good image of China abroad as its main task.

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