ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – At least nine people were killed and dozens more wounded when security forces opened fire on protestors across cities in southern Iraq on Sunday, police and medical sources said.
Police and health officials in Nassiriya said four people were killed and over 50 injured when security forces fired live rounds and tear gas canisters at demonstrators, Reuters reported.
Three others were killed and 90 injured near the Umm Qasr port near Iraq’s southern Basra province, while two people were killed overnight during demonstrations in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, the sources added.
Demonstrators in Iraq are calling for radical change in Iraq’s political system, which they say fails to address their needs, but, rather, serves the interests of a small governing elite.
Iraq’s Parliament was due to hold a session on Saturday to discuss the ongoing unrest in the country, but it was canceled due to a lack of quorum. The meeting is postponed to Monday.
The protests over the past month and a half reflect widespread dissatisfaction with the economy, a call for more jobs, the dismal state of public services, and widespread government corruption.
Since they began in early October, widespread protests in Iraq have resulted in the deaths of over 300, while some 12,000 have been injured, according to Iraq’s High Commission for Human Rights.
The United Nations, as well as Amnesty International, have called for an end to the bloodshed and urged security forces to show restraint against protestors.