Special forces in Baghdad after protest death toll reaches 60

Special forces in Baghdad after protest death toll reaches 60

Hundreds of Iraqi protesters have remained in Baghdad’s central Tahrir Square on Sunday, defying a bloody crackdown that killed at least 60 people over the weekend and an overnight raid by security forces seeking to disperse them. 

Demonstrators continued to gather in the capital despite a rapidly rising death toll, with 63 killed according to a tally by the semi-official Iraq High Commission for Human Rights. 

“We’re here to bring down the whole government, to weed them all out!” one protester, with the Iraqi tricolour wrapped around his head, was quoted as saying by AFP news agency.

“We don’t want a single one of them. Not [parliamentary speaker Mohammed] Halbussi, not [Prime Minister Adel] Abdel Mahdi. We want to bring down the regime,” he added.

Iraq’s elite Counter-Terrorism Service was deployed in Baghdad on Sunday to protect important state buildings. 

The forces said in a statement the move was to “protect state buildings from undisciplined elements taking advances of security forces being busy with protecting protests and protesters”.

On Saturday, security forces fired tear gas and opened live fire on thousands of protesters who tried to reach Baghdad’s Green Zone, home to government offices and embassies.

Three protesters were killed when they were struck with tear gas canisters in Baghdad while another three were shot dead in the southern city of Nasiriya after attacking a local official’s home.

The protests are a continuation of the economically driven demonstrations that began in early October and turned deadly as security forces began cracking down and using live ammunition. At least 190 people have since been killed.

The ongoing turmoil has broken nearly two years of relative stability in Iraq, which in recent years has endured an invasion by the United States and protracted fighting, including against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS) group.

The demonstrations have posed the biggest challenge yet to the year-old government of Prime Minister Abdul Mahdi, who has pledged to address demonstrators’ grievances by reshuffling his cabinet and delivering a package of reforms.


The moves have done little to quell the demonstrators, however, whose ire is focused not just on Mahdi’s administration but also Iraq’s wider political establishment, which they say has failed to improve the lives of the country’s citizens.

Many view the political elite as subservient to one or other of Iraq’s two main allies, the US and Iran – powers they believe are more concerned with wielding regional influence than ordinary Iraqis’ needs.

Nearly three-fifths of Iraq’s 40 million people live on less than six dollars a day, World Bank figures show, despite the country housing the world’s fifth-largest proven reserves of oil.

also read..

Prince Albert responds to rumors of him infecting Prince Charles with coronavirus

News Editor

Was politician’s killing a turning point in Lebanon’s protests?

News Editor

Civilians, soldiers killed in Kashmir cross-border firing

News Editor

Kate Middleton claims sibling rivalry among Prince George, Prince Louis is afoot

News Editor

Johnson and Corbyn duel in first televised debate of UK election

News Editor

Vaccine hopes and economic woes as virus spreads

News Editor

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More