BAGHDAD – Security forces in Iraq fired on Wednesday live shots in the air as well as teargas canisters and sound bombs into crowds of anti-government demonstrators attempting to cross Jumhuriya bridge that leads to the Green Zone government area.
An interior ministry source told EFE on the condition of anonymity that no deaths had been reported yet but several protesters were injured as a result of asphyxiation.
Meanwhile, protesters are gathering amid tight security measures near the key bridges of Sinak and Ahrar leading to central Baghdad, where several government institutions are located.
Since 25 October, over 100 people have been killed and another 5,500 others injured in clashes between protesters and security forces.
This new wave of protests follows demonstrations that erupted on 1 October, which spread through the capital and other regions of Iraq due to outrage over the lack of public services and employment opportunities.
At least 157 people died in the ensuing unrest, including eight members of the security forces.
The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) said Tuesday that at least 48 “unarmed protesters” had been shot dead during the protests roiling the oil-rich country between 25 October and 4 November.
In its report, UNAMI explained that those people were shot “during demonstrations or whilst committing acts of property damage, arson or attempting to enter government and/or political party offices.”
However, none of them posed danger to anyone’s life, according to the report.