Iraq forces fire on Baghdad protesters after 4 killed in Karbala



Iraqi security forces fired live rounds Monday at anti-government protesters in Baghdad, hours after four demonstrators were shot dead outside the Iranian consulate in the holy city of Karbala.

It was the latest bloodshed in a wave of ongoing protests, road blocks and a campaign of civil disobedience waged by protesters accusing the Iraqi government of rampant corruption and clientelism.

Activists also hurled stones at security forces firing tear gas grenades in clashes on the capital’s streets leading to the Iranian embassy, the seat of government and the foreign and justice ministries, an AFP photographer reported.

About 20 people were wounded in Baghdad, medical and security sources said, when security forces opened fire on protesters massing near the state television headquarters, according to witnesses.

It was the first time live ammunition was fired at Baghdad demonstrators since protests resumed on October 24, following a period in which riot police had switched to use tear gas amid accusations of “excessive force”.

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

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