Baghdad: At least twenty seven people have been killed and more than six hundred injured in protests across Iraq, police and medical sources say. Iraqi Police have responded with lethal force, after protesters burned buildings and government vehicles.
Protesters calling for the end of PM Adel Abdul Mahdi’s year-old government have been marching in the streets and setting government buildings ablaze since Tuesday, with dozens of protesters and at least two police officers killed in the ensuing government crackdown. Sporadic gun battles between protesters and police have been reported in Baghdad, and in several cities across the country’s south.
Inside Capital Baghdad’s fortified ‘Green Zone’ – home to government buildings and foreign embassies, multiple explosions were heard throughout the night. In the streets of the capital, crowds of protesters have blocked roads with flaming tires and torched government vehicles.
Though Iraq has the world’s fourth-largest oil reserves, much of its population lives in poverty. The 2003 United States invasion and two-decade occupation, coupled with sectarian violence and the rise of the Islamic State terror organization have left the country’s economy and infrastructure in tatters.