Iraqi parliament announces a session to discuss demands of protesters

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The Iraqi parliament presidency announced on Friday that a session is to be held on Saturday to discuss the demands of protesters.

Iraqi security forces Friday opened fire on dozens of protesters gathering in Baghdad for a fourth day of demonstrations against corruption, unemployment, and poor public services, an AFP correspondent reported.

Police and medical sources have confirmed a death toll increase to 44 nationwide since the beginning of the protests on Tuesday.

The security forces fired directly at the protesters, not in the air, the correspondent said.

Tensions have been exacerbated by a near-total internet blackout as the authorities seek to prevent protesters communicating with each other or posting footage of the chaotic demonstrations.

The demonstrations are the biggest challenge yet to Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi, who has imposed curfews in Baghdad and other cities to try to stop the protests gathering steam.

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