Iraqi demonstrators have begun converging on Baghdad’s Liberation Square as part of an anti-government rally dubbed the “Day of Rage,” reports Iranian news service ILNA.
According to AP reports, early Friday around 600 protesters had already gathered on the square, shouting “No to unemployment,” and “No to the liar al-Maliki,” referring to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
More people are expected to join the demonstrations after Friday prayers.
ILNA, however, reports that turnout at Friday demanstrations may be affected by al-Maliki’s speech Thursday warning people to stay away.
Shiite religious leaders have also discouraged people from taking part, according to ILNA.
ILNA ia also reporting that the Iraqi military is barring vehicles from moving around the city, as well as blocking one of the main bridges accessing the square.