At least four protesters were killed and more than 35 others wounded in central Baghdad on Thursday after security forces used live gunfire to disperse anti-government demonstrations, Reuters reported citing police and hospital sources.
The clashes took place near Shuhada bridge, the sources said.
Security forces used on Thursday live fire against protesters on Baghdad’s Al-Rasheed Street, hours after protesters blocked a major port in Um Qasr, the Iraqi Observatory for Human Rights reported.
More than 260 Iraqis have been killed since the start of October in the largest demonstrations since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003. Protesters are demanding the overthrow of a political class seen as corrupt and beholden to foreign interests.
The United Nations expressed its concern over the rising death toll and injuries during the ongoing protests in Iraq.
“The Secretary-General expresses his serious concern over the rising number of deaths and injuries during the ongoing demonstrations in Iraq. Reports of the continued use of live ammunition against demonstrators are disturbing,” a UN spokesperson said in a statement.
“The Secretary-General urges all actors to refrain from violence and to investigate all acts of violence seriously. He renews his appeal for meaningful dialogue between the Government and demonstrators,” the statement added.