housands of Iraqis braved the scorching summer heat to stage a huge protest in central Baghdad on Friday, calling on the prime minister to dissolve the parliament and sack corrupt government officials. Security forces and riot police sealed off Iraq’s iconic Tahrir Square and searched anyone who entered the area, but tens of thousands
of men, women and children thronged the sprawling square, waving Iraqi flags. “In the name of religion, the thieves robbed us,” they chanted long into the evening. This is the second Friday of protests in Baghdad and across Iraq, with people initially calling on authorities to address the country’s chronic electricity problems as temperatures in the capital soared above 50 degrees Celsius (123 Fahrenheit). But with little action from the Shi’ite-dominated government following last week’s demonstrations, the call for a government shake-up intensified.