Newest site of violent Middle East protests: Iraq

Thousands of Iraqis demanding better government services took to the streets in at least 10 cities, from Basra in the south to Mosul in the north, despite attempts by the government and by top Shiite leaders to head off the protests…

The constellation of rallies, modeled after the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, brought together a chorus of anger and frustration over government corruption, instability and shoddy public services. Unlike protesters elsewhere in the region, though, the crowds in Iraq did not call for an entirely new form of government…

The protesters in Baghdad pulled down two concrete blast walls that blocked access to a bridge leading to the Green Zone. Rock-throwing demonstrators clashed with security forces who, in turn, beat many of the protesters and kept them from crossing the bridge.

Demonstrations elsewhere in the country seemed to spiral out of control.