Iraqi Troops Open Fire, Killing Public Protesters in Baghdad, Karbala

Iraqi Troops Open Fire, Killing Public Protesters in Baghdad, Karbala

Iraqi Troops Open Fire, Killing Public Protesters in Baghdad, Karbala

The deaths came after three protesters were killed on Sunday night during an attack on the Iranian Consulate in Karbala, in southern Iraq.

Protesters see Iran as the main power behind the Shi'ite political parties that have wielded power in Iraq since the USA -led invasion.

"After the first wave of protests, we gave the government until October 25 to enact reforms", a 30-year-old protester, who declined to give his name out of safety concerns, said in Baghdad.

The United Nations' mission in Iraq raised the alarm on Tuesday over "serious human rights violations and abuses" in the second wave of demonstrations, citing "unlawful use" of weapons by security forces and armed groups.

The IHCHR said the crowd tried to break into the consulate.

A spokesman for the prime minister said a group of protesters had crossed the bridge and set fire to a restaurant, and that law enforcement "dealt" with them.

Anti-government protesters in Iraq stormed a fourth bridge Wednesday in central Baghdad, where security forces pushed them back with batons and tear gas, wounding dozens, and a medic was killed near another bridge while aiding demonstrators.

The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to reporters, said security forces in Umm Qasr fired live ammunition and tear gas, and that protesters seized an armored vehicle.

Some 270 people have lost their lives since the anti-government rallies broke out on October 1, according to an AFP count, but officials have stopped providing precise casualty numbers.

Others have erected checkpoints to stop security forces or imposed curfews on officials and police, with roads cut in Samawa and protests in Nasiriyah and Hillah on Monday. But despite its oil wealth, many people live in poverty with limited access to clean water, electricity, healthcare or education.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran has conveyed its concerns through political channels to the host government (Iraq), emphasized the need for protecting the security of our country's diplomatic and consular buildings in Iraq within the framework of global regulations and conventions, and called for the necessary action and intensified measures to protect our country's diplomatic missions in Iraq", he added. "We want to get rid of this gang, then maybe we can rest", said a protester who did not wish to be identified.

Protests restarted after a two-week lull, with fewer deaths and an easing by the government of internet restrictions on social media sites.

After first offering to resign if political factions agreed on a replacement, he has since hardened his stance.

Protesters have also shut the highway to the Umm Qasr port, one of the main conduits for food, medicine and other imports into Iraq.

In southern Iraq, protesters have ransacked and torched the offices of political parties linked to Iran.

Iraq has been rocked by a second wave of protests since October 25 against deep-seated corruption, unemployment and a lack of basic services.

"The Iranians and the parties affiliated with Iran harm us".

Kerbala hosts the world's largest annual religious pilgrimages, attended by millions of people from Iran, the main regional Shi'ite power. "We will not let any lackeys stay in Kerbala", the Kerbala protester said.

Such behaviors will not affect friendly ties and good neighborliness between Iran and Iraq, it noted.

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