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  • At least 74 Iraqis died on Friday and Saturday and hundreds were injured.

    At least 74 Iraqis died on Friday and Saturday and hundreds were injured. | Photo: Reuters

Published 27 October 2019
Opinion

About 231 people have been killed in October during encounters with the Iraqui police forces.

Thousands of Iraqi demonstrators stood firm Sunday in Baghdad's centrally-located Tahrir Square, defying the heavy repression and night raids from the police forces that killed dozens of people over the weekend.

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Medical and security sources said 77 people had been injured as the songs of "We give you our life and our blood, Iraq" were heard throughout the demonstrations.

Some of the young demonstrators raised barricades with the aim of blocking a bridge leading to the capital's fortified Green Zone and resisted the security forces who continued to drop tear gas bombs on them.

At least 74 Iraqis died on Friday and Saturday and hundreds were injured when demonstrators all over the country clashed with security forces and militias in the second wave of protests this month against the government of Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi.

Protests were peaceful in Nassiriya, but police strongly repressed mobilizations in Hilla and the Shiite holy city of Kerbala where demonstrators set fire to the entrance of the provincial council building.

About 231 people have been killed in October in a country where oil wealth is considerable yet its citizens live in poverty or have limited access to clean water, electricity, basic health care, and education. Iraqis blame a political elite that they say serves one or the other of Iraq's two main allies, the United States and Iran.

Many suspect that these powers are using Iraq as a proxy to continue their struggle for regional influence, without concern for the needs of ordinary people.​​​​​​​ Iraq is also recovering from years of conflict after the U.S.-led invasion in 2003 that overthrew Saddam Hussein.

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