Up to a million supporters of Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr have converged on Iraq’s southern city of Basra to demand better living conditions.
Coffins displaying words like ‘electricity’ and ‘education’ were carried by demonstrators marking nine years since the start of the US-led invasion. Nearly a decade on, dire poverty persists.
Reading a statement from al-Sadr, his spokesman Sheikh Asaad al-Nasiri urged Iraqis to unite and defeat the US, Israel and other ‘enemies.’
Al Sadr led uprisings against the US presence before American troops withdrew last year. He has now joined mainstream politics and his followers are part of Iraq’s ruling power-sharing coalition.