Middle EastNews

Iraqi Protestors Torch Iranian Consulate in Najaf

Anti-govern­ment protesters burned down the Iranian consulate building in the southern Iraqi city of Najaf on Wednesday night.

One protester was killed and at least 35 people were wounded when police fired live ammunition to prevent them from entering the building, a police official said.

However, staff at the Iranian consulate evacuated safely before the attack in the holy city.

The demonstrators removed the Iranian flag from the building and replaced it with an Iraqi one.

Iraq’s Najaf Operations Command announced a curfew but did not not specift how long it would continue.

Authorities decided to close all vehicle entrances and exits to Najaf to break isolate the city from other parts of the country until security and peace is restored.

On Thursday, Iraqi state news agency quoted the foreign ministry as condemning the attack on the diplomatic facility.

Separately, security forces and protesters clashed in Musenna, Qadisiyyah and Ziqar provinces, and dozens of protesters were reportedly wounded.

Iraq has been rocked by mass protests since early October against poor living conditions and corruption. Protesters demands later spiraled into calls for dissolving Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi’s government.

The attack was the strongest expression yet of the anti-Iranian sentiment by Iraqi demonstrators, who have taken to the streets for weeks in the capital Baghdad and Shia-Muslim-majority south – and have been shot in their hundreds by Iraqi security forces.

 

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