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Eleven killed in clashes with police in protests against the government in Iraq

October 3, 2019

Demonstration against corruption and the economic crisis in Iraq – Ameer Al Mohammedaw / dpa

BAGDAD, 3 (Reuters / EP)

At least eleven protesters and a policeman have died in clashes with the security forces in the context of protests against the government on the night of Wednesday through Thursday in two cities in southern Iraq, which raises 18 fatalities on balance of the manifestations in the last two days.

Seven protesters and a policeman have died in a clash between protest attendees and security forces in the town of Nasiriyah. In the city of Amara, four fatalities have been registered in protesters clashes with security forces.

Although security forces have patrolled several areas of Baghdad during the early hours of Thursday, to ensure compliance with the curfew established by Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi, there have been sporadic protests in some parts of the Iraqi capital.

The malaise has been increasing since Tuesday began a series of protests over the lack of work and basic services and against corruption. The mobilizations have been suppressed with real fire, tear gas and water cannons by security forces. Two people died that day and five others on Wednesday, including a child, in clashes with police officers. Hundreds of people have been injured as a result of violence, including protesters and police.

Abdul Mahdi has ordered a curfew that rules from five in the morning on Thursday in Baghdad and until further notice. Vehicles traveling to and from the airport, ambulances, hospital officials, electricity and water departments and religious pilgrims will be exempt from this restriction.

The protests are being especially massive in the capital and in the south of the country, where there have been fires of government buildings and attempted assault against several offices, so the Interior Ministry has ordered the security forces to be in ” alert “to protect real estate and diplomatic missions, as collected by Kurdish television network Rudaw.

The demonstrations are the most massive so far against the current Government, which has been in power for about a year, and the most massive since September 2018, when Iraq was the scene of protests against corruption that started in the city of Basra and that extended to other parts of the country.