Security forces in Iraq used live rounds, tear gas and rubber bullets on protesters in Baghdad on Monday, killing at least five people.
The deaths happened as thousands took part in anti-government protests across the capital city.
A member of the security forces was also among those killed and least 34 people were wounded in the violence on Monday, according to government and medical spokespeople.
Shots fired after entering the ‘Green zone’
The live rounds were said to have been fired close to the offices of the Iraq state broadcaster after protesters crossed the Al-Ahrar bridge over the Tigris river.
The bridge separates Baghdad from government buildings in the high security area, the so-called “Green zone.”
The Iraqi law enforcement said that they “dealt” with a group of protesters who had set fire to a restaurant, after crossing a main bridge over the Tigris river, according to a spokesman for the prime minister. He did not elaborate.
Security and medical sources confirmed the number of those dead, but could only confirm one death was from live fire, according to Reuters news agency.
How many people have been killed so far?
The deaths follow after three protesters were killed on Sunday night during an attack on the Iranian Consulate in Karbala in southern Iraq.
Conservative estimates put the total number killed in anti-government protests at 250 people since the beginning of October.
Demonstrations were initially sparked by anger at Prime minister Adel Abdul Mahdi’s government, which Iraqi citizens see as corrupt and tied to foreign governments.
Citizens are also unhappy at high unemployment rates and poor public services.
Protesters have revived chants popular during the Arab spring in 2011, saying “the people want the fall of the regime.”
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