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The protests came amid a searing heat wave that saw temperatures rise to than 120 degrees. The heat has been particularly unbearable because of the country’s limited power supply, which gives Iraqis only a few hours’ worth of electricity a day to run fans or air conditioners.
The country’s powerful Shiite militias — whose political influence has grown as they overtake the Iraqi army in the fight against the Islamic State — also threw their weight behind Friday’s protests. Their participation presented an unusual challenge to Abadi from his own Shiite constituency. The demonstrations also prompted the office of the influential Shiite religious leader Ayatollah Ali Sistani to urge Abadi to implement more sweeping measures. Sistani said Friday that Abadi had not done enough to fight corruption within the Iraqi state.