Iraqi security forces shot dead at least 13 protesters in the past 24 hours, dispensing with weeks of relative restraint in favor of trying to stamp out demonstrations against political parties that control the government.
After eight people were killed during the day on Monday, security forces shot dead at least five others overnight or early on Tuesday, including one killed with live fire toward a funeral procession held for another who died hours earlier, security and medical sources told Reuters.
More than 260 Iraqis have been killed in demonstrations since the start of October against a government they see as corrupt and beholden to foreign interests, above all Iran.
Most of those deaths occurred during the first week of the demonstrations, when snipers shot into crowds from Baghdad rooftops. But after the government appeared to have curbed the use of some deadly tactics, the protests swelled rapidly over the past 12 days.
Iraqi demonstrators take part in the ongoing anti-government protests in Baghdad. (Reuters)