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10/04/2019 Iraq (International Christian Concern) – Protests, primarily among the youth, erupted in Iraq this week following the government’s decision to remove Lt. Gen. Abdul-Wahab al-Saadi from his post as commander of the country’s counterterrorism forces. The general enjoys popularity because of his leadership in defeating ISIS.

Since then, demonstrations have grown to include protests against the political establishment, corruption, unemployment, and other social issues. The government has responded harshly towards the protesters by firing live ammunition rounds into the crowds and beating demonstrators. As of Friday morning, the death toll had reached 27 and 300 injured.

“How has the Iraqi government responded? Brutally,” reported Steve Nabil, an Iraqi Christian journalist. “People are worried about these kids (protesting), who have nothing. All they want is opportunity. Do what the government wants to block them from doing… don’t let their sacrifice for democracy die in vain.”

Protests in Iraq are increasingly commonplace, although this represents the first significant domestic unrest challenged faced by the current political establishment. Many Iraqi Christians, remembering the political violence of the early 2000s, have shared great fear and concern about what the possible outcome may entail.

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