BAGHDAD, Oct. 28 (Xinhua) -- Thousands of Iraqi students took to the streets Monday in Baghdad and other Iraqi cities to join the new wave of nationwide protests over unemployment, corruption and lack of public services.
An Interior Ministry source anonymously told Xinhua that hundreds of students in Baghdad rallied since Monday morning at al-Nusour Square in the western part of the Iraqi capital to show their support to the ongoing anti-government protests.
Thousands of students also demonstrated in other cities in southern Iraq, including Basra, Karbala and Najaf, the source said, adding that the security forces accompanied the demonstrations to ensure their safety.
A female university student Soha Amer told Xinhua that "we are frustrated by the government's promises and we have lost confidence in them," adding that "we are staying in the streets and squares until the change we seek is achieved."
The demonstrators tried to cross the nearby al-Jumhouriyah Bridge to reach the Green Zone, which houses the main government offices and some foreign embassies, but were prevented by the riot police who fired sound bombs and tear gas canisters to disperse them, the source said.
The latest wave of demonstrations came after Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi made a televised speech, in which he warned of chaos if the government resigns, and promised a cabinet reshuffle, more job opportunities and the establishment of a court to prosecute corrupt officials.
Earlier this month, massive protests erupted in Baghdad and other central and southern provinces for similar reasons.
The Iraqi government responded by presenting packages of reforms aimed at providing job opportunities, building housing complexes, paying stipends to the poor and scaling up the fight against corruption.