Iraqi Street Protests Continue and Death Toll Rises
Friday and Saturday saw no letup in the street violence that has left more than 200 dead in Baghdad. On Sunday, the government of Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi deployed its elite counter-terrorism units to prevent official government buildings in the city. But despite the official version of the deployment, the Reuters news agency is reporting that reliable sources are reporting that instructions to the elite force was to “using all necessary means.” Over the weekend, demonstrators were reporting incidents of beatings by government forces and the use of tear gas and stun grenades. On Sunday, four members of parliament resigned citing the failure of Mahdi to respond to the grievances that have brought the people to the streets. Also on Sunday, Iraqi students joined the demonstrations immediately swelling the ranks and spreading the popular commitment to the cause.