BAGHDAD – At least two people were killed on Thursday after security forces opened fire to disperse anti-government protesters in the Iraqi capital.
A security official told EFE, on the condition of anonymity, that over 50 others were injured in the clashes that took place nearby al-Shohadaa Bridge, al-Rusafi Square and al-Rashid Street, where the Central Bank of Iraq is located.
The source added that the troops fired live ammunition, tear gas canisters and water cannons to clear demonstrators who were protesting unreliable electric and water services, lack of economic opportunities and pervasive corruption.
Security personnel have also reinforced their presence in al-Tahrir square, the epicenter of protests where demonstrators staged sit-ins last month, according to the source.
NetBlocks, a global platform that monitors cybersecurity and the governance of the internet, said that the “internet shut down again across most of Iraq following brief 3-hour restoration; real-time network data show national connectivity down to 34 percent.”
Internet coverage has been blocked intermittently in Iraq since the protests broke out last month.
On Wednesday, a government official said the anti-government protests had resulted in economic losses of over $6 billion.
This second round of protests, like the week-long eruption at the beginning of October, reflects anger over pervasive corruption, economic stagnation and the poor quality of basic services.
More than a hundred people have died in the second wave of demonstrations, in addition to the 157 who perished in the unrest that began on October 1.
Thousands more have been injured.