The protestors have blocked the main roads in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, as mass anti-government protests escalated. The demonstrators were seen parking their cars at major junctions of the city and the police did not intervene. Scores of people have taken part in the two phases of protests that started on October 1 demanding more jobs, better services and an end to corruption.
The protestors have been protesting in Baghdad defying a curfew order introduced in late October. More than 250 have been killed in clashes with security forces. The President of Iraq said last week that the Prime Minister would resign if political parties could agree on his replacement. Protestors closed the main roads of the capital on Sunday.
Schools and colleges have been closed across Baghdad and various regions of Iraq and the students were seen staging sit-ins at their schools. Offices have been closed and government officers were not allowed to reach offices by the protestors.
The main centre of the protest has been Baghdad's central Tahrir Square. Protestors have been attempting to cross the green zone which houses government buildings and foreign embassies. Similar protests were taking place in the city of Kut, south-east of Baghdad. Many government offices and schools were shut on Sunday in a number of cities and towns further south.
Prime Minister Abdul Mahdi, a veteran Shia Islamist politician with a background in economics, became a Prime Minister just over a year ago, promising reforms that are not being provided as claimed by the protesters. The people angered by his failure to tackle high unemployment, endemic corruption and poor public services protested in Baghdad for the first time on October 1. The protests escalated and spread across the country after security personnel countered with deadly force.