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NEWS / MIDDLE EAST

Iraqi protesters face off against cleric's followers

Protests in Iraq turn violent once again a day after a protester was stabbed to death in clashes between anti-government protesters and followers of influential cleric Muqtada Sadr.

Anti-government demonstrators faced off against followers of influential cleric Muqtada Sadr in protest squares across Iraq on Tuesday, a day after one demonstrator was killed in a clash between the two sides.

Sadr, an enigmatic militiaman-turned-politician, backed the anti-government rallies when they erupted in October but has split with other demonstrators over the nomination of Mohammad Allawi as prime minister.

The cleric endorsed Allawi while other protesters rejected him, charging he is too close to the ruling elite they have been demonstrating against for four months.

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