Thousands of Iraqis marched peacefully through the streets of Basra on Monday, demanding the provincial governor's resignation over the poor city services, despite calls by top government officials a day earlier to call off the protest.
Some 3,000 demonstrators gathered near the Basra mosque, then marched a few hundred meters to the governor's office, which was surrounded by Iraqi soldiers and police officers.
"We call for the resignation of the Basra governor," read one banner carried by demonstrators. Others waved Iraqi flags and chanted "No, no to the governor!"
Protesters dispersed peacefully after a few hours, and called for a three-day sit-in in front of the governor's office starting at 8 a.m. Tuesday. If their demands are not met within three days, the sit-in could be extended, they said.