UN says ‘this must stop’ after violence in Iraq protests

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The top UN official in Iraq deplored five days of violence during protests that has killed nearly 100 across the country and wounded thousands, saying “this must stop.”

“Five days of reported deaths and injuries; this must stop,” Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, the special representative of the UN secretary general in Iraq, said in a tweet.

According to the Iraqi parliament’s human rights commission, 99 people have been killed and nearly 4,000 wounded since protests against unemployment and living conditions erupted Tuesday in Baghdad before spreading to the south of the country.

The UN official said she was “deeply saddened by the loss of life.”

“I call on all parties to pause and reflect. Those responsible for violence should be held to account. Let the spirit of unity prevail across #Iraq,” she said.

The protests over chronic unemployment and poor public services that began Tuesday have escalated into a broader movement demanding an end to official corruption and a change of government.

Iraqi officials say at least five more protesters have been shot and killed in anti-government demonstrations that have raged in four neighborhoods in the capital Baghdad on Saturday, bringing the day’s death toll to 19.

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