Iraq: Death toll from protests climbs to 12

3rd Oct 2019
Iraq: Death toll from protests climbs to 12

By Arif Yusuf and Hamdi Yildiz

 

BAGHDAD (AA): At least 12 people have been killed in anti-government protests across Iraq which began earlier this week, hospital sources said Thursday.A curfew is in effect in the Iraqi capital Baghdad.

Seven more people — six demonstrators and one police officer — were killed in the country’s southern province of Dhi Qar on Wednesday after curfew was declared.

The number of people injured also rose to 112 — 97 demonstrators and 15 policemen, said sources at the Husyaniya Training Hospital in the province, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

Women took part in the second day of protests on Wednesday, with security forces on high alert, locking down several squares and streets in Baghdad.

The country’s National Security Council held an emergency meeting with Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi to discuss how to address the situation.

A security source told Anadolu Agency that protesters set fire to several government buildings in Dhi Qar and Najaf provinces.

In a related development, protesters and civil activists interviewed by Anadolu Agency said the government had partially suspended internet services in the country.

The UN representative in Iraq has called on the Iraqi authorities to exercise restraint.

The protesters are calling for an end to corruption as the current government struggles to end mismanagement of public funds.

According to World Bank figures, youth unemployment in Iraq has reached around 25%. The country is also ranked the 12th-most corrupt country in the world by several transparency organizations.

[Photo:  People protest at government corruption, unsolved unemployment issue and inadequate public service in Baghdad, Iraq on October 02, 2019. Photographer: Murtadha Sudani/AA]

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