Iraq: At least 27 killed in anti-government protests – Crowd chants ‘Iran out, Baghdad will be free’
Iraqi security officials say at least 27 people have been killed in Baghdad and across provinces in the country as anti-government protests resumed after a three-week hiatus.
Iraqi police fired rubber bullets and volleys of tear gas canisters to disperse thousands of protesters that had gathered in the capital, Baghdad, while several other demonstrations swept across the country’s south.
According to officials, the dead include eight protesters who were killed in Baghdad. The remaining deaths were distributed across the provinces of Basra, Nasiriyah, Misan and Muthanna in southern Iraq.
Most of the deaths occurred as a result of tear gas canisters that were fired directly at protesters, as well as rubber bullets and live ammunition.
The protesters are calling for an overhaul of the country’s political system and an end to official corruption amid growing anger over chronically high unemployment and poor public services.
“All we want are four things: jobs; water, electricity, and safety. That’s all we want,” said a 16-year-old demonstrator.
“They hit us last night and again this morning. We don’t have any demands anymore, we want the government toppled,” said demonstrator Salah Mohammad.
“We want Iran to take its parties and leave, America to take its parties and leave, and let the Iraqi people decide,” he added.
Crowd chants: “Iran, out, out! Baghdad will be free!”.