At least 16 protesters were killed and several others injured on Friday after unidentified assailants opened fire on anti-government protesters, according to sources.
The attackers entered Baghdad’s al-Khalani Square in a convoy of four-wheel-drive vehicles and started shooting at people gathered there for a demonstration, the source told Efe, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Al-Khalani sits next to a multi-story parking garage that has been occupied by protesters since the current mobilization began two months ago.
Earlier on Friday, thousands of people were in Tahrir Square again to make it clear that the demands of protesters go far beyond the replacement of one prime minister with another.
Ahmed Bassam, 22, said that the protesters will not stop “until recovering the homeland that was stolen by the corrupt parties and all the rights usurped by those parties, that deprived us of everything and that exploited the wealth of the country”.
Earlier in the month, Iraqi authorities reduced the curfew in the country to four hours from six.
In October, thousands of protesters took to the street to protests to demand jobs and better public services in Iraq.
Protesters, most of them young people, waved Iraqi flags and chanted slogans such as “They are all thieves,” apparently referring to the country’s political class.
Earlier, an IHCHR statement said that the demonstrators in Wasit Province burned the Islamic Dawa Party headquarters and stormed the house of the governor in the province, while in the southern province of Dhi Qar, protesters burned the provincial government building.