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Hundreds of protesters storm Baghdad’s Green Zone, enter parliament

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BAGHDAD — Hundreds of supporters of Shiite Muslim cleric Moqtada al-Sadr have stormed Baghdad’s Green Zone and entered the parliament building after MPs failed to convene for a vote on overhauling the government.

The dissenters, who had gathered outside the heavily fortified district housing government buildings and many foreign embassies, crossed a bridge over the Tigris River chanting: “The cowards ran away!”

It was an apparent reference to MPs leaving parliament, a witness said.

A guard at a checkpoint said the protesters had not been searched before entering.

About ten members of the armed group loyal to Mr Sadr were checking protesters cursorily as government security forces, who usually conduct careful searches with bomb-sniffing dogs, stood by the side, the witness said.

The protesters, who had gathered outside the heavily fortified district housing government buildings and many foreign embassies, crossed a bridge over the Tigris River chanting: “The cowards ran away!”

Supporters of Mr Sadr, whose fighters once controlled swathes of Baghdad and helped defend the capital from Islamic State, have been demonstrating for weeks at the gates of the Green Zone, responding to their leader’s call to pressure the government to reform.

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi wants to replace some ministers — chosen to balance Iraq’s divisions along party, ethnic and sectarian lines — with technocrats in order to combat corruption, but political parties have resisted the changes.

Mr Abadi has warned that any delay to the vote could hamper the war against Islamic State, which controls vast swathes of northern and western Iraq.

Rudaw TV showed protesters chanting and taking selfies inside the parliament chamber where moments earlier lawmakers had been meeting.

The Green Zone unrest kicked off minutes after powerful cleric Moqtada al-Sadr wrapped up a news conference in the holy Shiite city of Najaf during which he condemned the political deadlock.

Last month he had threatened that his supporters would storm the Green Zone, but he did not order them to enter the area in his Saturday address.

AFP

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Bouddha registers nine rape cases in four months

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KATHMANDU— A total of nine cases of rape were registered in four months at Kathmandu Metropolitan Police Circle Bouddha.
The rape cases were registered from mid-July to mid-November 2018.

Deputy Superintendent of Police at Metropolitan Police Circle Bouddha, Narendra Chand shared that the police registered cases against 15 people on the charge of their involvement in rape cases.

An eight-year-old girl to a 67-year-old woman, among others, have filed cases against rape.

Police had arrested and filed case against seven persons on the charge of raping a 12-year girl in a room on the premises of Cricket Ground in Mulpani on November 7.

However, an accused is still at large. The arrested are Bikhasu Tharu, 28, Naresh Kushma, 21, Rajkumar Tharu, 22, Rabin Itani, 21, Rajesh Tharu, 16, Hari Kumal, 19, and Dilliram Tharu, 34.

Likewise, police had arrested Rakesh Shrestha, 40, of Kathmandu Gokarneswor Municipality-6 for raping 8 and 9 years girls on July 26.

According to the data provided by Bouddha police, Hari Timilsina, 49, of Shankharapur Municipality was arrested for raping a 15-year girl and a case was filed against him.

Similarly, a case was registered against Dal Bahadur Shahi, 47, of Shankharapur Municipality on charge of raping a 63-year-old woman.

35-year old Shanbhu Giri of Silugadhi of India was held for raping an 11-year old girl from Kavre.

Among other arrested on the rape charge are Dawa Tamang, 24 of Solukhumbu Dudhkunda Municiplaity-6, Rajan Mandal, 22, of Biratnagar, Madan Pariyar, 39, of Jhapa Gauradaha and Kabi Shrestha, 31, of Dolakha Bhimeswor Municiplaity-8.

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