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BAGHDAD

Hundreds of Iraqis staged an open sit-in on Sunday to protest the collapse of services in the eastern part of the capital.  

“We have come out today to protest years of deliberate government negligence,” Jabbar Latif, an elder from the Shia-majority al-Fadhiliya district in eastern Baghdad, told Anadolu Agency.  

“We lack all services as if we live in the desert, not in the heart of the capital,” he said.  

Latif said the demonstrators have decided to stage an open-ended sit-in “until their demands are met”.  

“We will not negotiate with any party except the Prime Minister,” he said.  

The Iraqi public frequently complains about inadequate public services, including electricity, drinking water and healthcare — even though Baghdad earns tens of billions of dollars a year in oil revenues.  

According to Transparency International, Iraq ranks among the world’s worst countries in terms of government corruption.  

Iraq recently fought a three-year war with the Daesh terrorist group, which was decisively defeated last year after overrunning much of the country in 2014.

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