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  • Iraqi demonstrators take part in ongoing anti-government protests in Baghdad, Iraq November 14, 2019.

    Iraqi demonstrators take part in ongoing anti-government protests in Baghdad, Iraq November 14, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 14 November 2019

“We’re reinforcing in case the security forces make another push later,” said Abbas, a teenage protester who was helping to set up the makeshift barrier.

At least four protesters were killed and more than 65 wounded on Thursday in clashes with Iraqi security forces who were trying to push them back to their main camp in central Baghdad, police and medical sources said.

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The protests erupted in early October over economic hardship and endemic graft. The government responded with some measures such as handouts for the poor but the protesters are now demanding an overhaul of the entire political system.

After two days of relative calm, three protesters were killed early on Thursday after being struck in the head by tear gas canisters and a fourth person died in hospital from wounds from a stun bomb fired by security forces, the sources said.

The total death toll from the protests now exceeds 300.

Security forces used live rounds, rubber bullets and fired tear gas canisters to disperse hundreds of people near Tahrir Square, epicenter of the protests, a Reuters cameraman said.

At least half of the wounded protesters had sustained injuries from live ammunition, police and medical sources said. Others choked on tear gas or were struck by rubber bullets. Ambulances raced to evacuate those hurt or affected.

Protesters used old cabinets, empty petrol drums and steel sheeting to set up a barricade near Jumhuriya (Republic) Bridge.

“We’re reinforcing in case the security forces make another push later,” said Abbas, a teenage protester who was helping to set up the makeshift barrier.

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