ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraqi security forces continued to use live rounds to disperse protesters in Baghdad on Wednesday as ongoing demonstrations across Iraq resume.
According to witnesses in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, security forces opened fire on protesters, shooting in the air to disperse people gathered on the Shuhada bridge, Reuters reported.
There were no reports of casualties.
However, at least 13 people were killed on Tuesday during nationwide protests, which have engulfed central and southern Iraqi provinces since the beginning of October.
Demonstrators 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.
The protests over the past month reflect widespread dissatisfaction with the economy, including high levels of unemployment, the dismal state of public services, and widespread government corruption.
On Sunday, Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi called for an end to the nationwide protests, which he complained are affecting the country’s economy.
Demonstrators have used tires, stones, and metals to block the main entrance to Iraq’s main Gulf port, Umm Qasr, which receives imports of grain, vegetable oils, and sugar shipments and is one of the most significant ports in Iraq.
The United Nations has also called for an end to the bloodshed, calling on both protesters and security forces to end violence and begin dialogue.