Electricity cut off to Baghdad’s Tahrir Square as protesters hit with tear gas

A demonstrator wears a mask to protect himself from tear gas during a protest over corruption, lack of jobs, and poor services, in Baghdad. (Reuters)

Electricity has been cut off in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square and security forces have fired tear gas to disperse tens of thousands of Iraqis who gathered on Tuesday for a fifth day of protests, Al Arabiya’s correspondent reported.

The protesters gathered in central Baghdad spurred on by reports of security forces shooting dead protesters in Karbala overnight and the prime minister’s refusal to call early elections.

It was the largest gathering in the capital since a second wave of demonstrations against Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi’s government and the ruling elite resumed on Friday.

Security forces stationed on the nearby Jumhuriya bridge lobbed tear gas at protesters who tried to break through to the heavily fortified Green Zone, which houses government buildings and foreign missions.

Footage from Al Arabiya’s correspondent on the ground showed heavy presence of Iraqi security forces in Nisour Square in central Baghdad which was cordoned off with barbed wires to prevent hundreds of protesters from gathering near the area.

(With Reuters)

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:53 - GMT 06:53