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A bigger threat to Iraq than Al Qaeda? Power cuts.

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'Where is the electricity, oh Minister?'

At a Baghdad traffic circle – where a statue of Kahramanah from "1001 Nights" pours boiling oil on some of the 40 thieves – a banner from the "citizens of Karrada" strung along the wall asks: “Where is the electricity, oh Minister?”

Electricity Minister Karim Wahid, considered close to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, offered his resignation Monday night after violent protests in the southern cities of Basra and Nasiriyah killed one Iraqi and injured dozens of citizens and police. But he criticized the ‘impatience’ of the Iraqi people and excessive expectations.

The protests have spread throughout the country. In oil-rich Kirkuk, a key city for electricity generation, the provincial government has threatened to cut off the rest of the country from the electricity grid if the central government doesn’t give it more of a share.

In Mosul, Jamal Saeed, an officer in the former Iraqi Army, called for a general strike.

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