Protests continued in Iraq on Friday after the judiciary opened an investigation into protests in the restive southern province of Dhi Qar, where tens of protesters have been killed over two days of violence.
Thousands of demonstrators were reported flocking to Baghdad's Tahrir Square, with protests continuing in the southern city of Nasiriyah on Friday afternoon.
The Supreme Judicial Council of Iraq announced the formation of a body to investigate the killing of protesters in Nasiriyah, the capital of Dhi Qar province, over the last two days.
After the announcement, tribes in Nasiriyah demanded the trial of Jamil al-Shammari for his alleged role in the killing of protesters in the area, reported an Al Arabiya source.
Renewed clashes also reportedly broke out in front of the police command for Dhi Qar province.
At least 27 protesters were killed and 152 injured in yesterday’s clashes between demonstrators and security forces in Nasiriyah, as southern Iraq and the capital Baghdad descend into violence.
Iraq announced it is setting up military-led ‘crisis cells’ aimed at quelling mass unrest according to a military statement.
Al-Sistani backs protesters
Iraq's top Shiite cleric Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani condemned attacks on peaceful protesters, as demonstrations continued in Baghdad and Nasiriyah.
The country must not descend into strife, warned al-Sistani, adding that protesters should cooperate to expel saboteurs in their ranks and prevent them from exploiting demonstrations.
Death toll reaches 400: Reuters
A reuters count, based on police and medical sources, put the death toll from the protests at at least 408 as of Friday afternoon.
According to the count, at least 46 of those killed since October 1 were in Nasiriyah.
The activist Haidar al-Lami was assassinated by gunmen in Maysan province, according to reports from Iraqi media.
Twitter users said that Haidar led a convoy that supported the protests by providing food and services to the demonstrators.
At least 12 killed near burnt Iranian consulate in Iraq’s Najaf: SourcesAt least 12 protesters were shot dead on Thursday in Iraq’s Najaf, Al Arabiya sources said, in a crackdown near the burnt Iranian consulate. The ... Middle East
Clashes in Iraq result in at least 27 killed, 152 injuredIraqi officials say 27 protesters have been shot dead in the last 24 hours, amid spiraling violence in Baghdad and southern Iraq. Another 152 others ... Middle East
Iraq’s Prime Minister fires new commander after 22 killed in crackdown: state TVIraq’s Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi on Thursday sacked the military commander he had dispatched earlier in the day to “restore ... Middle East
Iraq sets up military-led ‘crisis cells’ to stop mass unrest: Military statementIraq announced it is setting up military-led ‘crisis cells’ aimed at quelling mass unrest according to a military statement on Thursday. ... Middle East