Iraqi paramilitary groups tell supporters to withdraw from US Embassy perimeter

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Paramilitary groups who have been protesting against US air strikes in Iraq told their supporters to withdraw from the perimeter of the US Embassy in Baghdad on Wednesday.

The crowd did not actually begin withdrawing, according to a Reuters witness.

The Popular Mobilization Forces (PMU) umbrella group made the call in response to the Iraqi government’s call for the protesters to disperse, it said in a statement.

“You delivered your message,” the PMU said in a statement addressed to the crowds encircling the embassy since Tuesday in outrage over deadly American air strikes on a pro-Iran PMU faction at the weekend.

It called on supporters to regroup outside the high-security Green Zone where the mission is located, but a leading commander in Kataeb Hezbollah, the group targeted in the US raids, told AFP they would “remain” at the embassy.

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