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AFP
February 15, 2020

Iraq cleric’s supporters hold counter-protests

World

AFP
February 15, 2020

BAGHDAD: Thousands of supporters of Iraqi cleric Moqtada Sadr protested on Friday to support the sanctity of “religious symbols,” a day after a march saw unprecedented public criticism of their leader. “We are one tribe and our leader is Moqtada Sadr!” chanted a crowd of men on Friday in Tahrir Square, the main gathering place in Iraq´s capital for rival anti-government rallies. Sadr, who has a cult-like following across Iraq, first backed the popular protests when they erupted in October but has since split with them over the appointment of a new prime minister. The cleric backs Mohammad Allawi, a premier-designate rejected by most demonstrators as too close to the ruling class they have railed against for months.