Page last updated at 14:23 GMT, Friday, 21 November 2008

In pictures: Baghdad protests

People shout slogans at a demonstration in Baghdad, Iraq (21/11/2008)

Thousands of people have protested in Baghdad against a proposal to allow the US military presence in Iraq to continue.

People pray before a demonstration in Baghdad, Iraq (21/11/2008)

Organisers said the demonstration, which began with joint Sunni and Shia prayers, would remain peaceful.

An Iraqi policeman at the demonstration in Baghdad (21/11/2008)

But security was stepped up in the surrounding areas, with Iraqi police blocking roads and searching people entering the square where the protesters were gathering.

People shout slogans at a demonstration in Baghdad, Iraq (21/11/2008)

People shouted anti-American slogans and waved Iraqi flags, and an effigy of US President George Bush was burnt.

A man hold posters of Moqtada Sadr and Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani at a demonstration in Baghdad, Iraq (21/11/2008)

The protest was called by leading Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr - in an address read to the crowd he said the US was "no use" to Iraqis.

A group at a demonstration in Baghdad, Iraq (21/11/2008)

Sadr fiercely opposes the agreement allowing US troops to stay in Iraq until 2011, which will be voted on in parliament next week.

Supporters of Moqtada Sadr attend the demonstration in Baghdad, Iraq (21/11/2008)

A spokesman for Sadr said the protests were for people to "express rejection of the pact and the occupation".

A group of men cheering at a demonstration in Baghdad, Iraq (21/11/2008)

Prime Minister Nouri Maliki has said the proposal will pave the way for the restoration of full Iraqi sovereignty in three years' time.




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