Iraqi security forces kill one, wound 91 protesters

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Security forces killed a protester and wounded 91 others in Baghdad on Saturday, security and medical sources said, as thousands of Iraqis continued to gather in mass anti-government protests.

Tens of thousands have been gathering in the capital’s central Tahrir Square this week, demanding the downfall of the political elite in the biggest wave of mass demonstrations since the fall of Saddam Hussein.

Protests have accelerated dramatically in recent days, drawing huge crowds from across Iraq’s sectarian and ethnic divides.

They have been comparatively peaceful by day, becoming more violent after dark as police use tear gas and rubber bullets to battle self-proclaimed “revolutionary” youths.

ALSO READ: Iraqis defy crackdown to hold biggest protests yet

Clashes have focused on the ramparts to the Republic Bridge leading across the Tigris to the heavily fortified Green Zone of government buildings, where the protesters say out-of-touch leaders are holed up in their walled-off bastion of privilege.

More than 250 people were killed in October, as security forces fired tear gas canisters and rubber bullets directly at crowds of protesters, hitting some in the head and chest.

An Iraqi government committee investigating violence from October 1-7 found that 149 civilians were killed because security forces used excessive force and live fire to quell protests, according to its report.

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