Four killed as protesters clash with security forces in Baghdad

Four killed as protesters clash with security forces in Baghdad

Four protesters have been killed in renewed clashes in Baghdad between anti-government demonstrators and security forces.

The altercations on two key bridges in the Iraqi capital also left at least 44 people injured, officials said.

One protester was killed when security forces used live rounds to repel demonstrators on Ahrar Bridge, while another died when a tear gas canister was fired on Sinak Bridge, hitting him in the head.

Protesters receive treatment at Tahrir Square in Baghdad after renewed clashes with security forces (Ali Abdul Hassan/AP)
Protesters receive treatment at Tahrir Square in Baghdad after renewed clashes with security forces (Ali Abdul Hassan/AP)

Two protesters later died from injuries sustained in the violence.

Protesters have been occupying parts of Baghdad’s three main bridges – Sinak, Ahrar and Jumurhiya – leading to the heavily fortified Green Zone, the seat of Iraq’s government.

Tents have been set up under the bridges and also on central Tahrir Square, the epicentre of the protest movement.

One hospital volunteer said: “Around 1.30am, the shooting started with live ammunition, tear gas, and sound grenades.

“There were martyrs and we received several injured.”

By morning, the situation on the bridges appeared to be calm.

Anti-government protesters have set up camp on bridges leading to the Green Zone in Baghdad (Khalid Mohammed/AP)
Anti-government protesters have set up camp on bridges leading to the Green Zone in Baghdad (Khalid Mohammed/AP)

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

There, protesters threw fire bombs at security forces while anti-riot police responded by hurling stones at the demonstrators.

At least 320 protesters have been killed and thousands more have been injured since the unrest began on October 1, when demonstrators took to the streets in Baghdad and across Iraq’s mainly Shia south to decry rampant government corruption and a 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.

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