Iraqi officials: 8 protesters dead in day of violent clashes

BAGHDAD — Eight people died and at least 90 were wounded on Thursday in renewed clashes in central Baghdad, in the most violent clashes between anti-government protesters and security forces in recent days, Iraqi officials said.

Separately, one policeman was killed and six others wounded when an IED exploded in northeast Baghdad, security officials said.

One person was killed when security forces hurled sound bombs at crowds of protesters on the strategic Sinak bridge late Thursday, security and hospital officials said.

Earlier clashes had erupted on Baghdad’s Rasheed Street, a cultural centre known for its old crumbling buildings, and on the Ahrar bridge. Security forces fired live ammunition, tear gas and sound bombs to disperse dozens of protesters, causing the fatalities.

Protesters have been occupying parts of Baghdad’s three main bridges — Sinak and Ahrar and Jumurhiya — leading to the heavily fortified Green Zone, the seat of Iraq’s government. Security forces are deployed on the other side to repel them from entering the area, which houses government buildings and various foreign embassies, including the United States.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.

Two protesters were killed when tear gas canisters struck them and one was killed by live ammunition during the clashes in Rasheed street.

Four protesters were killed in fighting near Ahrar and Sinak bridges early Thursday.

Fighting also resumed overnight in the Shiite holy city of Karbala, south of Baghdad, between protesters and security forces.

Tents have been set up under the bridges and also on central Tahrir Square, the epicenter of the protest movement, where first-aid volunteers treat those wounded by pieces of exploded tear gas cannisters and live fire.

“Around 1:30 a.m., the shooting started with live ammunition, tear gas and sound grenades,” said one volunteer, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of government reprisal. The volunteer said there were deaths and several injured people with bullet wounds and breathing difficulties.

In Karbala, protesters threw crudely made fire bombs, also known as Molotov cocktails, at security forces while anti-riot police responded by throwing stones at protesters.

Dozens of demonstrators had attacked the Iranian consulate in this city earlier in November, scaling concrete barriers and saying they rejected the influence of the neighbouring country in Iraqi affairs.

At least 320 protesters have been killed and thousands have been wounded since the unrest began on Oct. 1, when demonstrators took to the streets in Baghdad and across Iraq’s mainly Shiite south to decry rampant government corruption and lack of basic services despite Iraq’s oil wealth.

The leaderless movement seeks to dismantle the sectarian system and unseat the government, including Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi.

Samya Kullab And Murtada Faraj, The Associated Press

Just Posted

Red Deer’s Dream Centre for addictions treatment is approved on appeal

Several conditions are attached to the approval

Derailed train in Saskatchewan released 1.5 million litres of oil: TSB

LANIGAN, Sask. — The Transportation Safety Board says Monday’s fiery Canadian Pacific… Continue reading

Alberta NDP wants new ethics review of government over election watchdog firing

EDMONTON — Alberta’s Opposition is renewing its attempt to have the ethics… Continue reading

Alberta premier says energy war room will be respectful as it takes on critics

CALGARY — Alberta’s United Conservative government has opened its war room to… Continue reading

New trial ordered for Ottawa man, ex-lover convicted in grisly murder

Ontario’s top court has ordered a new trial for an Ottawa man… Continue reading

Your community calendar

Friday The Annual Old-Fashioned Country Christmas is being held Dec. 13 at… Continue reading

Derailed train in Saskatchewan released 1.5 million litres of oil: TSB

LANIGAN, Sask. — The Transportation Safety Board says Monday’s fiery Canadian Pacific… Continue reading

Alberta NDP wants new ethics review of government over election watchdog firing

EDMONTON — Alberta’s Opposition is renewing its attempt to have the ethics… Continue reading

Leonard scores 23 points to lead Clippers to 112-92 rout of Raptors

Clippers 112 Raptors 92 TORONTO — On a night Kawhi Leonard was… Continue reading

Alberta premier says energy war room will be respectful as it takes on critics

CALGARY — Alberta’s United Conservative government has opened its war room to… Continue reading

New trial ordered for Ottawa man, ex-lover convicted in grisly murder

Ontario’s top court has ordered a new trial for an Ottawa man… Continue reading

Report suggests agriculture needs changes to save climate and farmers

Farming needs to change to help save the climate and farmers themselves,… Continue reading

Police investigate after woman, two young sons found dead in east-end Montreal home

MONTREAL — Police officers who showed up at an east-end Montreal home… Continue reading

Most Read