Iraq Protests Broaden As Death Toll Crosses 100

by Ritu Versha 4 years ago Views 1491

Iraq protest
At least eight people were killed and 25 wounded in new clashes between Iraqi security forces and anti-government protesters in Baghdad on Sunday, the sixth day of unrest, as Iraq spirals deeper into violence.

The United Nations has called for an end to the “senseless loss of life” in Iraq after six days of street protests over corruption and unemployment left 104 people dead and 6,100 wounded. Police, backed by the army, fired live rounds and used tear gas to break up a mass rally at two separate locations in Sadr City in eastern Baghdad.

“Five days of reported deaths and injuries: this must stop,” said the UN’s top official in Iraq, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert. She described the violence as a “senseless loss of life” and said those behind it must be held accountable.

Demonstrations over similar issues engulfed the southern city of Basra last summer and effectively ended previous premier Haider al-Abadi's chances of a second term.

Iraqi PM Adel Abdul Mahdi now faces a similar challenge just weeks before his government marks a full year in power. It has revived fears of a new spiral of violence that could suck in influential militia groups. Two years after oil-producing Iraq declared the defeat of Islamic State, security has improved but corruption is rampant, wrecked infrastructure has not been rebuilt and jobs are scarce.

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