Clashes in Baghdad as protesters try to reach Central Bank building

Reuters Baghdad, Iraq Nov 23, 2019, 07.29 PM(IST)

At least 330 people have been killed since the start of mass unrest in Baghdad. Photograph:( Reuters )

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Protesters threw molotov cocktails and stones to security personnel in riot gear, forcing some of them to retreat.

Clashes erupted in Baghdad on Saturday (November 23) after Iraqi security forces launched tear gas to prevent protesters from reaching the Iraqi Central Bank's building in the centre of the capital, a Reuters witness said.

Protesters threw molotov cocktails and stones to security personnel in riot gear, forcing some of them to retreat. A number of protesters suffered injuries from tear gas.

On Friday (November 22), security forces killed four people as they opened fire and launched tear gas at protesters on a central Baghdad bridge in the same area, police sources said. Two people died from bullet wounds and two from tear gas canisters launched directly at their heads. At least 61 more were injured.

At least 330 people have been killed since the start of mass unrest in Baghdad and southern Iraq in early October, the largest demonstrations since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003.

Protesters are demanding the overthrow of a political class seen as corrupt and serving foreign powers while many Iraqis languish in poverty without jobs, healthcare or education.

Protesters in Baghdad control parts of three major bridges which lead to the capital's fortified Green Zone, where government buildings and foreign embassies are located.