IraqMiddle East

Iraqi police fire in air during new protests in Baghdad

Police opened fire in the al-Shaab neighborhood of north Baghdad and in Zaafaraniya, in the south, on Wednesday.

At least eight people were injured during the protest in Zafaraniya, police sources said.

About 200 people took part in the rally in northern Baghdad and blocked a key highway linking the capital to northern cities. Police and the army deployed to the area to disperse them, according to police and eyewitnesses.

This came one day after police used tear gas, water cannon, and live rounds to prevent “groups of riot inciters” from crossing a bridge leading into Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone, which houses government buildings and foreign embassies.

PressTV-2 dead, 200 wounded in Iraqi protests

2 dead, 200 wounded in Iraqi protestsTwo people are killed and 200 others wounded in a protest rally against alleged corruption in Iraq’s capital city of Baghdad.

Hundreds of protesters were rallying in the day against what they claimed to be the government’s failure to improve public services and create jobs.

President Barham Salih reacted to the incident on Tuesday, calling for restraint. Two people were killed and more than 200 others wounded in the Tuesday clashes.

He also told security forces that “peaceful protest is a constitutional right” of the Iraqi people.

This is while police had reportedly attempted to prevent an intrusion into the restricted Green Zone.

​Protesters stand on a concrete arch connected to a burning building amid clashes with Iraqi riot police, in the capital, Baghdad, on October 1, 2019. (Photo by AFP)

Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi also issued a statement on Tuesday and promised jobs for graduates.

Mahdi tasked the Oil Ministry and other government bodies to start including a 50-percent quota for local workers in subsequent contracts with foreign companies.

Oil-rich Iraq was invaded by the United States in 2003. Washington, backed by the United Kingdom, launched the war under the pretext that the regime of the then-dictator Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). No such weapons, however, were ever found in Iraq.

Sixteen years on, the country is still struggling with security and economic issues, including high inflation and shortages of goods.

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