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Orphans join Iraq protests over food, shelter

Saturday, February 19, 2011 - 02:33

Feb 19 - Orphans join protests in Iraq to call for a better standard of living. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.

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Orphans join protests in Iraq to call for a better standard of living. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have been killed since the us led invasion in 2003 -- most of them men leaving behind widows, fatherless children and orphans with no means of support. About 4.5 million Iraqis are orphans -- with the Iraq government estimating that some 500,000 live on the streets with no home or family member to care for them. Now they are on the streets with other Iraqis looking for a better life. SOUNDBITE: Iraqi Protester Bushra al-Ameen, saying (Arabic) "The Iraqi people have been patient since the fall of the regime in 2003 and they want to improve their living conditions. But now, a single glance at Baghdad and other cities, can show you the tragedy that we have experienced. It has been eight years and they (government officials) are still unable to ensure that power supplies are back or create job opportunities for the unemployed young people. The infrastructure is completely damaged. At the same time, we always hear reports and news about corruption and about those who steal the resources that belong to the people." In Northern Iraq thousands of people called on the local government of Sulaimaniya to resign after protests turned violent earlier in the week wounding dozens and killing two people. The demonstrations come as Iraqis seek an end to food and power shortages. Unlike anti-government uprisings in other parts of the Middle East, the Iraqi protesters usually have not demanded the overthrow of their government -- an elected one formed less than two months ago. Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Maliki has called for peaceful demonstrations and has forbid security forces from using force against demonstrators. Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters

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Orphans join Iraq protests over food, shelter

Saturday, February 19, 2011 - 02:33