By Nilay Kar Onum
ISTANBUL (AA) - Turkey is “deeply saddened” by the loss of lives and injuries in Iraq as anti-government protests continue, the country’s Foreign Ministry said late Friday.
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of lives of scores of people and the injuries since the protests, which have been ongoing in Baghdad and some southern provinces since Oct. 1,” the ministry said in a written statement.
The ministry called on both sides to “exercise restraint and common sense” to prevent more killings and destruction.
“We believe the Iraqi government will take the necessary steps to meet the people’s legitimate expectations," it said.
Stating that Turkey "attaches importance to Iraq’s stability," the ministry said “an Iraq in peace and prosperity is our sincere desire."
At least 60 people have been killed since anti-government protests erupted across Iraq earlier this week, according to the country’s health ministry.
Protesters have been demanding improvements in living conditions and an end to corruption. Security forces have reportedly opened fire on protesters to disperse them, causing mass casualties.
Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi ordered a government-enforced curfew to be lifted in Baghdad and some other southern cities as of 5 a.m. local time (0200 GMT) Saturday, state media reported.