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A previously unknown organization, The Revolution of Iraqi Rage, has called for mass protests inspired by recent events in Tunisia and Egypt.
Thousands of appeals have been sent via the Internet, including to army and police officials, to gather on Tahrir Square in central Baghdad on February 25 to demand an end to poverty and the start of reforms.
Protests took place in Iraq following the Egyptian and Tunisian unrest. Protesters demanded better living standards and an end to mass unemployment, as well as food, electricity and water shortages.
"Eight years after the American troops overthrew the Saddam regime, the majority of Iraqis are still struggling to survive. We have more reasons to take to the streets than other Arabs," a Baghdad pensioner, Abou Alaa said.
Several commentators said however they doubted the protests would attract the kind of crowds seen in Tunis and Cairo.
"There is no unity in Iraqi society; it is divided into faiths, which do not trust each other. The protesters do not have a single leader," Iraqi political expert Najem el-Aboudi of the Baghdad University said.
The Iraqi authorities have taken measures to prevent unrest in the country. From February, all Iraqis will receive monthly food subsidies of $12. Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has given up half of his annual wages of $360,000 and said he would not run for a third term in 2014.
BAGHDAD, February 9 (RIA Novosti)
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