Iraqi Security Forces Open Fire on Protesters, Killing 14 and Wounding Close to 900
Anti-government protests in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square continued on Tuesday, the fifth straight day, with Iraqi security forces facing off against thousands of demonstrators, now including university students and schoolchildren. This follows violence on Monday night in the Shi’ite holy city of Karbala, where, according to medical and security sources, 14 people were killed and 865 wounded from live fire. Local authorities, however, have disputed these figures, with Karbala’s police chief denying that any protesters were killed. The local health department says that 122 people, among them 66 members of the security forces, were injured. In addition, three protesters died overnight in Nasiriya, in the South. The Iraqi protests were sparked by perceptions of widespread corruption in the government of Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi and among the country’s political elite. At least 250 people have been killed since the unrest began on October 1.