WORLD Death toll rises to 26 in Iraq's violent protests


Death toll rises to 26 in Iraq's violent protests


05:14, October 04, 2019

Protesters burn tires to block streets during a protest in Baghdad, Iraq, on Oct. 2, 2019. (Photo: Xinhua)

BAGHDAD, Oct. 3 (Xinhua) -- The death toll from three days of protests in Iraq climbed to 26 and more than 1,500 wounded people, as some protesters tried to rally in some areas on Thursday but were dispersed by the security forces, a member of the Iraqi human rights body said.

Ali al-Bayati, a member of the Iraqi Independent High Commission for Human Rights (IHCHR), told reporters that the toll of violence that accompanied the protests during the three days in Baghdad and some provinces rose to 26 people, including two members of the security forces.

He said that up to 1,509 people were wounded, including 401 security members, pointing out that most of them have left the hospital after receiving treatment.

Earlier in the day, Faten al-Halfi, a member of the IHCHR, put the death toll at 19 people, including a security member, and 1,041 others were wounded, including a number of security members.

The IHCHR is an independent commission which is linked to the Iraqi parliament. It was established by UN agencies in Iraq in cooperation with the Iraqi government to promote and protect the rights of all Iraq's people according to international standards.

A protester waves a flag during a protest in Baghdad, Iraq, on Oct. 2, 2019. (Photo: Xinhua)

Demonstrations erupted in the capital Baghdad and in several provinces across Iraq on Tuesday and Wednesday over unemployment, government corruption and the lack of basic services.

The demonstration turned violent in Baghdad as clashes erupted with the police.

The protests also spread to other Iraqi provinces when hundreds of protesters attacked and burned several provincial government buildings and offices of leading political parties.

On Thursday, sporadic protests continued during the day despite the curfew that was imposed in Baghdad starting from 5:00 a.m. local time (0200 GMT) Thursday morning, and until further notice.

The Iraqi Defense Minister Najah al-Shammari said in a statement on Wednesday that he has decided to raise the state of alert for the Iraqi armed forces "to preserve state sovereignty and protect all foreign embassies and diplomatic missions operating in Iraq."

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