Dozens of Iraqi protesters wounded in clashes with security forces as anti-government unrest resumes in Baghdad

  • Dozens of Iraqi protesters were wounded in Baghdad and other cities on Monday in clashes with security forces

  • In Baghdad's Tayaran Square overnight, protesters threw petrol bombs and stones at police who responded with tear gas and stun grenades

  • Protesters say prime minister Adel Abdul Mahdi has not fulfilled promises including naming a new government acceptable to Iraqis

Baghdad: Dozens of Iraqi protesters were wounded in Baghdad and other cities on Monday in clashes with security forces who were trying to clear blocked roads, security and medical sources said, as anti-government unrest resumed after a lull of several weeks.

 Dozens of Iraqi protesters wounded in clashes with security forces as anti-government unrest resumes in Baghdad

File image of anti-government protesters set fire while security forces close Rasheed Street during clashes in Baghdad, Iraq. AP

In Baghdad’s Tayaran Square overnight, protesters threw petrol bombs and stones at police who responded with tear gas and stun grenades, Reuters witnesses said.

Elsewhere in southern Iraq, hundreds of protesters burned tyres and blocked main roads in several cities, including Nassiriya, Kerbala, and Amara. They say prime minister Adel Abdul Mahdi has not fulfilled promises including naming a new government acceptable to Iraqis.

“They (security forces) should stop shooting and aiming, who are they and who we are? Both sides are Iraqis. So why are you killing your brothers?” said one woman protester in Baghdad who declined to give her name. Baghdad police said its forces had successfully reopened all the roads that were closed by “violent gatherings”.

Mass protests have gripped Iraq since 1 October, with mostly young protesters demanding an overhaul of a political system they see as profoundly corrupt and as keeping most Iraqis in poverty. More than 450 people have been killed.

Numbers had dwindled but protests resumed last week as demonstrators sought to keep up the momentum after attention turned to the threat of a US-Iran conflict following Washington’s killing of Tehran’s top general in an airstrike inside Iraq.

The killing of Qassem Soleimani, to which Tehran responded with a ballistic missile attack on two Iraqi military bases, has highlighted the influence of some foreign powers in Iraq, especially Iran and the United States.

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Updated Date: Jan 20, 2020 14:11:19 IST