By Naza Mohammed
BAGHDAD (AA) - The death toll of the anti-government protests in Iraq reached 165, a source in the country's Health Ministry said on Tuesday.
"The death toll of the anti-government protests is between 165 and 180 while the number of the injured hit five thousands including many in critical conditions," the medical source told Anadolu Agency on condition of anonymity.
Most of the shots were in the heads and chests, the source added.
The mass protests in Iraq broke out across several Iraqi cities on Oct. 1 with demands of improving living conditions and end to government corruption, but as the security forces used live ammunition against peaceful protesters which had claimed hundreds of lives, protesters raised their demands and called for the departure of government.
For years, Iraqis have protested as their successive governments have failed to put an end to alleged nepotism and corruption as the current government struggles to end mismanagement of public funds.
According to World Bank figures, youth unemployment in Iraq has reached 25%. The country is also ranked the 12th-most corrupt country in the world by several transparency organizations.
* Ahmed Asmar contributed to this report from Ankara.