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The New Arab

More Iraqi protesters killed in Baghdad in latest security crackdown

The leaderless movement seeks to dismantle the sectarian system and unseat the government. [Getty]

Date of publication: 21 November, 2019

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At least 320 protesters have been killed and thousands have been wounded since the unrest began on 1 October.
Renewed anti-government demonstrations in Baghdad last night saw security forces kill four protesters, Iraqi security and hospital officials said on Thursday.

Altercations between the two sides on two strategic bridges in the capital left at least 36 people wounded, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with regulations there. Both bridges appeared to be calm by morning hours.

One protester was killed when security forces used live rounds to repel demonstrators on Ahrar Bridge.

The other protester was killed when a tear gas cannister was fired, hitting him in the head, on Sinak Bridge.

Two other wounded protesters later died from their injuries.

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.

At least 320 protesters have been killed and thousands have been wounded since the unrest began on 1 October, when demonstrators took to the streets to decry rampant government corruption and lack of basic services despite Iraq's oil wealth.

Rights groups have slammed security forces for firing the military-grade gas grenades directly at protesters instead of up in the air.

When shot at close range, the canisters can pierce demonstrators' skulls or chest, and advocacy groups have documented around two dozen such deaths.

The leaderless movement seeks to dismantle the sectarian system and unseat the government, including Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi.

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