Three people died and 24 were wounded in renewed clashes in central Baghdad between anti-government demonstrators and security forces on Thursday, bringing the death toll for the day to seven, Iraqi security and hospital officials said.
The clashes, the deadliest in recent days, erupted on the capital’s Rasheed Street, a cultural center known for its old crumbling buildings. Security forces fired live ammunition, tear gas and sound bombs to disperse dozens of protesters.
Two protesters were killed when tear gas canisters struck them and one was killed by live ammunition. The clashes took place on the street near Ahrar Bridge, the officials say.
Earlier, four protesters were killed in fighting near Ahrar and Sinak bridges. One protester was killed when security forces used live rounds to repel demonstrators on Ahrar Bridge. The other protester was killed when a tear gas canister was fired on Sinak Bridge, hitting him in the head. Two protesters later succumbed to their injuries.
At least 320 protesters have been killed and thousands have been wounded since the unrest began on October 1, when demonstrators took to the streets in Baghdad and across Iraq’s mainly Shiite south to decry rampant government corruption and lack of basic services despite Iraq’s oil wealth.
The leaderless movement seeks to dismantle the sectarian system and unseat the government, including Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi.
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