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At Least Two Dead in Baghdad during Renewed Anti-gov’t Protests

After several months of relative quiet due to the coronavirus pandemic, security forces in Baghdad appear to have shot two protesters dead and wounded as many as 21 more during renewed anti-government demonstrations. The violence took place Monday morning along a main thoroughfare linking two of the city’s prime areas for demonstrations, Tahrir Square and Tayaran Square, where protest encampments have sprung up. Officials and rights groups says people began throwing stones and setting tires alight to complain about electrical outages despite the searing summer heat. A military spokesman said that several Molotov cocktails had been thrown at security personnel, who appear to have responded with live gunfire after using teargas and rubber bullets. Anti-government protests broke out in Baghdad and elsewhere around the country last October over government corruption and inefficiency, leading to over 600 deaths, mostly among demonstrators. The new government of Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi has pledged to investigate the protesters’ demands.