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

Iraq

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta doctors send letter asking government to delay health-care restructuring

EDMONTON — Hundreds of Alberta doctors have signed an open letter asking… Continue reading

Large business, non-profits, charities all eligible for wage subsidy, Trudeau says

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says large and small businesses, non-profits… Continue reading

A message from the Advocate publisher

In good times and bad, The Red Deer Advocate has been here… Continue reading

Calgary blocks traffic lanes to help pathway users maintain two-metre separation

CALGARY — Fans of a decision by Calgary officials to block off… Continue reading

Alberta Health Services provides COVID-19 prevention tips

Alberta Health Services has a number of recommendations for people amid the… Continue reading

Alberta government website has latest COVID-19 statistics

Red Deer Advocate readers can stay up to date on the COVID-19… Continue reading

Newspapers are safe to touch, World Health Organization confirms

Just make sure to wash your hands, as you would after touching any surface or object

Delay in tackling COVID-19 adds mightily to death toll

The basic choice all along with COVID-19 has been: do we let… Continue reading

Health care workers should have the protection they need

Hospital staff are now having serious problems getting protective equipment to prevent… Continue reading

Lacombe Police respond to multiple incidents

LPS respond to thefts, outstanding warrants

Tokyo Olympics rescheduled for July 23-Aug. 8 in 2021

TOKYO — The Tokyo Olympics will open next year in the same… Continue reading

Canada’s sports organizations eager to unite country when pandemic passes

Tom Renney remembers exactly where he was during the attacks of Sept.… Continue reading

Most Read