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UPDATE - Anti-government protests grow in Iraq

UPDATE - Anti-government protests grow in Iraq
Iraqi national security council holds emergency session to address increasing protests


By Naza Mohammed

BAGHDAD (AA) - Anti-government protestors took to the streets for a second day across Iraq, including the capital Baghdad, demanding improved living conditions and an end to "government corruption".

Women also participated in the on-going protests on Wednesday, with security services on high alert and security forces locking down several squares and streets in Baghdad.

The country's National Security Council held an emergency meeting with the attendance of Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi, to discuss the urgent developments and how to address the protests.

A Health Ministry official in the country's southern province of Dhi Qar told Anadolu Agency that at least three demonstrators were killed in the province.

The source, who preferred not to be named due to restrictions on talking to the press, added that a policeman was also killed in the same province.

Wednesday's casualties bring the number of deaths since the eruption of protests on Tuesday to nine people, including a policeman, along with dozens of injuries.

The UN representative in Iraq, for his part, called on Iraqi authorities to exercise restraint.

Successive Iraqi governments have failed to put an end to "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 around 25%. The country is also ranked as the 12th most corrupt country in the world by several transparency organizations.

source: News Feed
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