Iraq: Anti-government protests intensify, death toll climbs to 70

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Muhammad Usman Ahmad has been reporting for News Angels for more than a year. He did his Intermediate from PGC Pir Mahal. His aim is to provide Latest News Straight from News Industry.

Authorities in Iraq say, 70 people have been killed in four days of ongoing protests against the government.

Security and medical sources say the number of casualties has doubled in the past 24 hours as clashes between protesters and police intensify.

Unidentified snipers killed four people, including two policemen, in Baghdad, the army says.

Authorities, on the other hand, ended the day’s curfew in the capital Baghdad early Saturday.

Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi had earlier said that the ‘legitimate demands’ of the protesters had been heard and he had appealed to the protesters to remain calm.

But despite the Prime Minister’s appeal for peace, hundreds of Iraqis remained on the streets Friday. Indefinitely, curfews and Internet sanctions also failed to prevent protesters from gathering.

Within a year of Adil Abdul Mahdi’s weak government coming to power, these protests are being called the biggest challenge for him.

Earlier on Tuesday, several cities in the country, including Baghdad, sparked protests against sudden high unemployment rates, poor access to basic services and severe corruption.

Iraq
AFP

The latest situation


The worst case scenario is that Baghdad has imposed an indefinite curfew for the past three days in which people are allowed to travel to city airports, ambulances can travel and religious pilgrims are allowed to travel.

Social networking websites have also been blocked in different parts of the country.

Security forces fired live rounds on protesters in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad on Friday.

Security forces were seen firing on protesters heading to Baghdad’s writing square, according to Reuters news agency.

A Reuters reporter there said several people were hit by bullets, some in the head and some in the abdomen.

Medical and security sources said Friday alone killed at least ten people, including two Iraqi citizens and two police officers.

According to sources, at least 70 people have been killed so far, including six security personnel. In addition, hundreds of people were injured.

The protest was made in response to an online call on the occasion of the completion of Abdul Mahdi’s government year, and apparently there was no organized leadership among the protesters.

The United Nations and the United States have expressed concern over the violent events in these demonstrations.

The latest scenario is that Baghdad has imposed an indefinite curfew for the past three days in which people are allowed to travel to city airports, ambulances can travel and religious pilgrims are allowed to travel.

Social networking websites have also been blocked in different parts of the country.

REUTERS

Iraqi Prime Minister Abdul Mahdi says the imposition of indefinite curfew is critical to maintaining peace and protecting protesters.

Al-Ghad Press, a private website, cited a statement issued by an organization measuring the quality of communications in Iraq, saying the move was designed to curb the circulation of images and videos of protests.

According to the Kurdish Shafaq News website, at least 650 people were injured in the clashes between protesters and security forces.

AFP

According to reports, in the Iraqi capital Baghdad, police opened fire when protesters tried to march to the green zone. It should be noted that the Green Zone is an area where there are embassies and offices of government agencies from other countries.

The government’s statement called on citizens to avoid harming national security in the face of protests.

REUTERS

The protests also resulted in casualties, but 200 people, including 40 security personnel, were injured, the health ministry statement said.

According to Transparency International, Iraq is ranked 12th in the list of most corrupt countries.

The economy of Iraq
Iraq has the world’s largest oil reserves, but more than 22% of its population of 400 million spend less than $ 2 a day, according to the World Bank.

At least one in every six households suffers from some kind of food shortage.

The unemployment rate in the country is about eight percent, but the rate doubles among young people. 17% of the country’s employable population is not fully employed.

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