Middle EastNews

At Least Seven Killed as Iraq Seeks to End Renewed Violence

Seven people were killed on Thursday when Iraqi security forces shot live fire and tear gas canisters at demonstrators in Baghdad, according to the security and medical sources,

In renewed deadly anti-government protests, which authorities seek to crush, at least 78 people were also wounded.

The cause of death was live fire and tear gas canisters aimed directly at the head, the sources said.

The renewed clashes occurred despite a massive security operation mounted by the government in an effort to quash the economically driven protests.

Hundreds of heavily armed security forces and riot police deployed on Baghdad streets blocked all intersections leading to a major central square on Wednesday to prevent a repeat of Tuesday’s protests. Residents said authorities had shut down social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp.

At least 325 people have been killed and thousands have been wounded since the unrest in Baghdad and  Iraq’s mainly Shia south began in early October, the largest since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003.

The protests appear to be spontaneous and without political leadership, organised by people on social media in protest against corruption and a lack of basic services such as electricity and water.

The demonstrators said they were against government corruption  and lack of basic services despite Iraq’s oil wealth.

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