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Iraqis in Baghdad wake up to snow for first time in over a decade

The last time Iraq’s capital experienced snow was in 2008.

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Iraqi children play in the snow in Baghdad (AP/Ali Abdul Hassan)

Iraqi children play in the snow in Baghdad (AP/Ali Abdul Hassan)

Iraqi children play in the snow in Baghdad (AP/Ali Abdul Hassan)

Iraq’s capital Baghdad has woken up to snow for the first time in more than a decade.

Iraq has grappled with months of unrest, beginning with an anti-government protest movement which engulfed the country in October, and the US killing of a top Iranian general in Baghdad in early January, which brought the region close to war amid soaring US-Iran tensions.

Fresh snow falls while motorists drive through central Baghdad
Fresh snow falls while motorists drive through central Baghdad (AP/Hadi Mizban)

Over 500 people have died in the protests as security forces used live rounds and tear gas to disperse crowds in Baghdad and southern Iraq.

The movement is entering a critical phase, after influential Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who initially threw his weight behind demonstrators, withdrew it. Tensions have since seethed between protesters and Mr al-Sadr’s followers.

In the city’s central Tahrir Square, the epicentre of the protest movement, protesters took a moment to observe the snowfall and dusted the flakes off their sit-in tents.

Snow covers Tahrir Square where anti-government protesters have been staging a sit-in
Snow covers Tahrir Square where anti-government protesters have been staging a sit-in (AP/Hadi Mizban)

Annual snowfall is common in the mountainous northern region of Iraq, but very rare in Baghdad. The last time the capital saw snow was in 2008.

By midday, the snow had melted in most parts of the city.

PA