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Iraqi PM addresses the nation, urges protesters to go home

Published: Updated:

Iraq’s prime minister has addressed the nation over the turmoil gripping the country, calling on protesters to go home and saying their demands have been heard.

Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi says that the security measures imposed in the wake of this week’s violence, including the temporary curfew, are “difficult choices” but are needed like “bitter medicine” that has to be swallowed.

Iraqi security forces have imposed a round-the-clock curfew in Baghdad. Since Tuesday, they fired live rounds and tear gas every day to disperse anti-government protests, leaving 33 people dead and wounding hundreds.

The prime minister’s speech was televised early on Friday.

He told protesters their “legitimate” demands in countering corruption and providing jobs have been heard and that it’s “important to help the government perform its duty toward you.”