Published: Sun, November 17, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Two killed, 35 wounded in Baghdad protests - police, medics

Two killed, 35 wounded in Baghdad protests - police, medics

Until protests and clashesbankrupt after October 25, tuk-tuk operators hailing mostly from Baghdad's roughest neighborhoods were disregarded as reckless and, well, awful drivers.

The highly-anticipated match, which resulted in a 2-1 victory for Iraq, was an uplifting finish to a day that started with 4 demonstrators being killed as they have been hit by tear gasoline canisters in Baghdad. Amnesty International says security forces in Baghdad have fired military-grade tear gas grenades directly into the crowds, causing horrific wounds and occasionally lodging the projectiles in people's skulls.

"We were able to organize ourselves in the first two days of protest".

The crowds in Tahrir have swelled with students and striking teachers in recent days.

Police and medical sources said the clashes killed four, three of whom were struck in the head by tear gas canisters.

In a town north of Nasiriyah, security forces imposed a fresh curfew starting from 4:00 pm (1300 GMT) until the next morning, said an AFP correspondent.

According to the officials, the casualties occurred in the Khilani area near Tahrir Square, which has been witnessing protests for weeks.

The unrest is among the biggest and most complex challenges to the Iraqi establishment since it took power after the U.S. invasion and the toppling of Saddam Hussein in 2003.

"We've been targeting our leaders recently but on Thursday night, we'll be aiming for the Iranian football team in Amman", said the 25-year-old fan.

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Iraq is OPEC s second-largest producer but still lacks reliable public services such as mains electricity and drinking water. "We have one message: we don't want this government." said Ali, a demonstrator in Tahrir.

On Wednesday, the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) said it will continue to engage with all Iraqi parties to meet the demands of the ongoing anti-government protests over worsening living conditions in the country.

"This country unfortunately knows many actors, external, internal, that could act as spoilers (and) undermine the legitimate demands of the people", she said.

Hennis-Plasschaert, the United Nations envoy, discussed the plan with lawmakers during a parliamentary session on Wednesday afternoon.

MPs have received a draft electoral reform bill but have yet to discuss it, and are planning to interrogate two ministers as part of a planned cabinet reshuffle.

"Medics have become another victim of the state's excessive force".

"Medical workers should not have reason to fear for their lives as they engage in heroic work in already risky environments", regional director Sarah Leah Whitson said.

Late Wednesday, activist and medic Saba Mahdawi returned home after being held by unknown assailants for almost two weeks, her family said.

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