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At least 40 killed as fresh protests engulf Iraq

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on October 26, 2019 - Duration: 01:21s

At least 40 killed as fresh protests engulf Iraq

At least 40 protesters were killed in Iraq on Friday when security forces used tear gas and an Iranian-backed militia opened fire to try to quell renewed demonstrations against corruption and economic hardship, security sources said.

Francesca Lynagh reports.

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At least 40 killed as fresh protests engulf Iraq

At least 40 protesters were killed in Iraq on Friday (October 25) in renewed demonstrations against corruption and economic hardship.

Sirens wailed and tear gas canisters landed amid groups of protesters draped in Iraqi flags chanting "with life and blood we defend you Iraq'' - as they demanded clean water, electricity and basic healthcare.

Frustration is aimed at political elites who demonstrators say have failed to improve their lives after years of conflict.

Medical sources say more than 2,000 people were injured nationwide in the second major bout of violence this month.

A series of clashes two weeks ago between protesters and security forces left 157 people dead and over 6,000 wounded.

The unrest has broken nearly two years of relative stability in Iraq, which lived through foreign occupation, civil war and an Islamic State (IS) insurgency between 2003 and 2017.

The protests are the biggest challenge to security since IS was declared beaten.

Despite promising reforms and ordering a broad cabinet reshuffle, Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi has so far struggled to address the protesters' discontent.

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