Anti Government protest in Iraq has rose death toll to 93 as the unrest entered its fifth day, parliament’s human rights commission said.
The death toll from mass protests in Baghdad and cities across southern Iraq rose to 93 as the unrest entered its fifth day, parliament’s human rights commission said.
Nearly 4,000 people have also been injured. It was not immediately clear whether the latest deaths were from Friday’s huge protests or fresh demonstrations on Saturday.
Iraq has been rocked by days of protests, as thousands of mostly young men have been demonstrating in different parts of the country against corruption, unemployment and poor public services.
Security forces have responded using water cannon, tear gas, live rounds and rubber bullets. Dozens of protesters have been killed and hundreds more wounded.
Tensions have been exacerbated by a near-total internet blackout as the authorities seek to prevent protesters from communicating with each other or posting footage of the chaotic demonstrations online.
The mostly leaderless demonstrations are the biggest challenge yet to the government of Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi, who has imposed curfews in the capital, Baghdad, and other cities to try to stop the protests gathering steam.
Despite the lifting of the government-imposed curfew, riot police have blocked Baghdad’s Tahrir Square, the focal point of protests, local news agencies said.
Shoppers trickled back onto the streets to buy vegetables and other perishable goods the price of which had doubled since the protests began.
Municipal street cleaners set about clearing the detritus of the four days of running clashes between protesters and security forces, which has seen breeze blocks and burning tyres strewn across major thoroughfares.
An onlooker who ventured out, Abu Salah, 70, was not convinced the protests were over.
“If living conditions don’t improve, the protesters will be back”.
The Iraqi Human Rights Commission has reported that the death toll has increased to 73, including six members of the security forces, with more than 3,000 others injured.
A total of 540 demonstrators have been arrested, of whom nearly 200 remain in custody, the commission added.
There was an incredible amount of criticism from all aspects of Iraqi society when the curfew was brought into place۔
It was never a long-term, short-term or even medium-term solution to Iraq’s crisis. The government had little choice but to actually lift it so they can get Baghdad moving.
Anti Government protest is causing rise in Death toll.