Anti-government protesters burned down the Iranian consulate building in southern Iraq on Wednesday, while six protesters were killed by security forces who fired live rounds amid ongoing violence, Iraqi officials said on Wednesday.
Protesters destroyed the Iranian consulate in the holy city of Najaf, the seat of the country’s Shiite religious authority, in the evening.
At least 33 people were wounded when police fired live ammunition to repel them from entering the building, a police official said.
Authorities declared curfew in Najaf after the incident. The official spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.
Iranian staff were not harmed and escaped the building from the back door.
The demonstrators lowered the Iranian flag from the consulate building and raised the Iraqi flag.
The police have imposed a curfew until further notice.
Iraqi security initially responded by shooting at the demonstrators and then withdrew along with the diplomatic corps.
Protesters took to the streets on October 1 to decry rampant government corruption, poor services and rising Iranian influence in Iraqi state affairs. At least 350 people have died since the unrest started.
- With The Associated Press.