Pompeo urges Iraq’s prime minister to tackle protesters’ grievances

Iraqi security forces remove concrete blast walls that were cutting the streets in the protest site area of Baghdad, a day after calm was restored in the Iraqi capital, on October 8, 2019. (AP)

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi to “exercise maximum restraint” and “address protesters’ grievances” after more than 100 people were killed in recent demonstrations, the State Department said on Tuesday.

"The secretary lamented the tragic loss of life over the past few days and urged the Iraqi government to exercise maximum restraint," the department said in a statement.

Pompeo encouraged Abdul Mahdi “to take immediate steps to address the protesters' grievances by enacting reforms and tackling corruption,” it said.

The US statement said Pompeo and Abdul Mahdi spoke “recently.”

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