Followers of Iraq's influential Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr chant slogans demand government reform as they wave Iraqi flags during a demonstration in Tahrir Square in Baghdad, Iraq, Friday, March 11, 2016. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)
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Supporters of Iraq's powerful Shiite Muslim cleric Moqtada al-Sadr began a sit-in outside the walls of Baghdad's fortified Green Zone Friday to press the government to see through a move to stem endemic corruption.Sadr rejected calls to cancel the sit-in prompted by fears of clashes between his supporters and security forces guarding the highly sensitive Green Zone, which hosts major government offices and foreign embassies in the Iraqi capital.The Green Zone was originally set up in 2003 to protect U.S. occupation forces that had toppled Saddam Hussein from suicide bombings and other Islamist militant attacks, and has been kept in place by successor Iraqi authorities for security reasons.Thousands of demonstrators held Friday prayers in a main street leading into the Green Zone nearby, then set up tents to accommodate those staying on for the sit-in.
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