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157 dead in anti-government protests in Iraq

People hold an anti-government protest in Baghdad, Iraq. Photograph:( AFP )

AFP Baghdad, Iraq Oct 22, 2019, 05.03 PM (IST)

The death toll from week-long anti-government protests that erupted in Baghdad and other cities at the start of the month totalled 157, an official inquiry found on Tuesday.

The capital accounted for 111 of the dead, nearly all of whom were protesters, the inquiry found.

Around 70 per cent of the deaths were caused by bullet wounds "to the head or chest", according to the findings, published as Iraq braces for fresh protests on Friday.

Protesters demanding the removal of the government and a political class they view as corrupt have clashed with Iraqi security forces, mainly in the capital of Baghdad and the south.

The violence has been the worst in Iraq since it put down an insurgency by the Sunni Muslim Islamic State group nearly two years ago, and the biggest test for Abdul Mahdi, in office for a year.

 

Story highlights

Around 70 per cent of the deaths were caused by bullet wounds 'to the head or chest', according to the findings, published as Iraq braces for fresh protests on Friday