Two protesters were killed and over a dozen wounded in central Baghdad on Friday in renewed violence between anti-government demonstrators and Iraqi security forces, activists and officials said. The deaths follow weeks of calm.
Riot police fired tear gas and hurled sound bombs to disperse crowds on the strategic Sinak Bridge after protesters attempted to breach cement barriers previously erected by security forces, causing the casualties, activists and medical and security officials said.
Two protesters were killed and at least 25 wounded, three activists and a security official said. One protester died after a tear gas canister was launched directly at his neck, the medical sources said.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.
Angry demonstrations have rocked Baghdad and Iraq’s south for the last three months, denouncing the country's political system which is seen as among the most corrupt in the world.
Since October, the unrest has seen around 460 people killed and some 25,000 wounded, the vast majority of them demonstrators.
The movement, seeking sweeping political reforms, and better jobs and services, has also faced a campaign of intimidation, abductions and assassinations.