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Sunday 17 November 2019

Gunmen kill five protesters in Iraqi city

The shooting in Basra also wounded around 120 people.

Protests in Basra (Nabil al-Jurani/PA)
Protests in Basra (Nabil al-Jurani/PA)

By Qassim Abdul-Zahra, Associated Press

Masked men have attacked anti-government protesters in the Iraqi city of Basra, killing five and wounding scores more, state TV and medical officials said.

The shooting in the southern city occurred at around midnight and wounded around 120 people, according to medical officials.

Tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets since last month in Baghdad and across the largely Shiite south to demand sweeping political change.

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Anti-government protesters in Baghdad (Hadi Mizban/AP)

In the capital on Friday, state television said explosives experts detonated a bomb under a bridge that has been a daily flashpoint between security forces and protesters trying to force their way into the heavily fortified Green Zone, which hosts the government’s headquarters.

The report gave no further details about the controlled detonation under Sinak bridge over the Tigris River that cuts through the capital city.

Also on Friday, protester Amir Shami said security forces tore down tents at an protest sit-in in the holy city of Karbala.

More than 250 people have been killed since the unrest erupted on October 1.

Demonstrators complain of widespread corruption, lack of job opportunities and poor basic services, including regular power cuts despite Iraq’s vast oil reserves.

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