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UPDATE - Iraq: Death toll from protests climbs to 21

UPDATE - Iraq: Death toll from protests climbs to 21
Scores of people including civilians injured in demonstrations


By Arif Yusuf and Hamdi Yildiz

BAGHDAD (AA) - At least 21 people have been killed in anti-government protests across Iraq which began earlier this week, local media reported Thursday.

In remarks to Iraqi local media outlets, hospital sources said that the number of people who were killed during Wednesday protests rose to 10.

They added that five people were killed in Amara city of Maysan province, while five more were killed in Nasiriyah, Dhi Qar.

This brings the number of deaths since the eruption of protests on Tuesday to 21, according to the same sources.

Scores of people including civilians were injured in demonstrations, they added without giving an exact number.

In a related development, protesters and civil activists interviewed by Anadolu Agency said the government had partially suspended internet services in the country.

Since Tuesday, protests have broken out across several Iraqi governorates demanding improvement in living conditions and an end to corruption. Security forces have opened fire on protesters to disperse them, causing mass casualties.

Iraqi authorities on Thursday imposed an indefinite curfew in Baghdad in a bid to quell the protests.

Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi said the curfew will maintain public order and protect protesters from "infiltrators".

He added the armed forces will allow movement for humanitarian cases and travelers to and from Baghdad Airport.

Police officer Ahmed Khalaf told Anadolu Agency that the armed forces started deployment of armored vehicles to implement the curfew.

Meanwhile, the Iraqi army announced curfew in Dhi Qar and Maysan provinces while police directorate in Najaf announced curfew as well.

For his part, Parliament Speaker Mohamed al-Halbousi called on representatives of the protesters for talks at the assembly to discuss their demands, according to the official Iraqi News Agency.

source: News Feed
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