Iraqi forces kill four protesters in Baghdad

14/11/2019 - 22:11 Published in News/Iraq

Iraqi security forces killed at least four anti-government protesters on Thursday as they sought to push them back to their main camp in central Baghdad, police and medics said, but demonstrations resumed at the same spot later in the day.

The violence shattered two days of relative calm in Baghdad after weeks of bloody unrest that has killed more than 300 Iraqis as politicians grapple with the biggest challenge in years to their grip on power.

The mass protests, which began in Baghdad on Oct. 1 and spread through southern Iraq, are an eruption of public anger against a ruling elite seen as enriching itself from the state and serving foreign powers, especially Iran, as many Iraqis languish in poverty without jobs, healthcare or education.

Deadly use of live ammunition, tear gas and stun grenades against mostly unarmed demonstrators have stoked the unrest. The government has promised limited reform that comes nowhere near protester demands for the removal of an entire political class.

Security forces have in recent days tried to thrust towards and isolate Baghdad’s Tahrir Square, the main protest encampment. They shot at protesters in a morning assault nearby on Thursday, a Reuters cameraman said.