By Ibrahim Salih
BAGHDAD (AA) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on Saturday called for restraint in Iraq amid protests that have left at least 100 people dead and hundreds injured this week.
"The use of force by security forces must be proportionate to the situation and is an exceptional measure," Katharina Ritz, the ICRC's head of delegation in Iraq, said in a statement.
"In particular, firearms and live ammunition must only be used as a last resort, and to protect against an imminent threat to life."
The ICRC called on all parties to exercise restraint, saying it is monitoring the situation on the ground.
Iraqi protesters have been demanding Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi to resign as well as improvements in living conditions and an end to corruption in demonstrations which broke out on Tuesday.
Discontent has been growing in Iraq in recent years due to rising unemployment rates and rampant corruption. Many in the country have limited access to basic services such as electricity and clean water, and the unemployment level is around 10%.