Death toll rises to 93 as violent protests engulf Iraq

Source:Xinhua Published: 2019/10/5 18:08:44

Riot police use water cannons to disperse protesters at the entrance of al-Jumhuriya bridge in Baghdad, Iraq, on Oct. 1, 2019. (Photo: Xinhua)

 Death toll from four days of violent protests in Iraqi capital Baghdad and other Iraqi provinces climbed to 93 with nearly 4,000 people wounded, a member of the Iraqi human rights body said on Saturday.

Ali al-Bayati, a member of the Iraqi Independent High Commission for Human Rights (IHCHR), told reporters that the toll of violence that accompanied the protests during the four days in Baghdad and some provinces rose to 93 people, including security members.

He said that up to 3,978 people were wounded, mostly demonstrators, as violent protests continued in Baghdad and other cities, according to al-Bayati.

The IHCHR is an independent commission which is linked to the Iraqi parliament. It was established by UN agencies in Iraq in cooperation with the Iraqi government to promote and protect the rights of all Iraq's people according to international standards.

Since Tuesday, hundreds of Iraqis have been holding protests on the streets in Baghdad and other Iraqi provinces. They voiced their anger that after two years of defeating the extremist Islamic State militants, millions of the population are still living in worsening conditions in the oil-rich country.

The protesters are demanding for better living, job opportunities and basic services. They blame the deterioration on what they see widespread corruption and incompetence of the government.

Early on Friday morning, Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi called on the protesters to calm down.

In his televised speech, he said that "your demands for reforms and the fight against corruption have reached us," promising that his government would not make "empty promises."


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