Thousands of Iraqis on Friday took to the streets to protest against the recent attacks by the US and Iran on their territory and demanded a new government to help regain autonomy.

Amid strong security measures and despite the deployment of troops across several cities, demonstrators chanted slogans against Washington and Tehran for turning Iraq into an arena for settling their scores.

Many protesters slammed the “corrupt” Iraqi politicians who they consider to have allowed this to happen.

Organiser Sabah Nabil said that the demonstrations in which thousands of people participated across the country were a response to calls in the last three days, Efe news reported.

He further said that participation in the capital’s Tahrir Square was much bigger than in the last few weeks.

These protests come amid an escalation of tensions in the Middle East which was set off by the killing of Soleimani on January 3.

On Wednesday, Iran responded with a missile attack against two military bases used by the US in western and northern Iraq.

At least 485 people have been killed and 27,000 others injured in the widespread anti-government protests that took place across Iraq since October.

Mass demonstrations have continued in Baghdad and other cities in central and southern Iraq since early October, demanding comprehensive reform, fight against corruption, better public services and more job opportunities.

Assassinations and kidnappings have increased recently in Iraq, especially among civil society activists who were participating in the anti-government demonstrations.

Earlier, the Iraqi Independent High Commission for Human Rights warned of the growing assassinations of civil activists in the capital Baghdad and other cities.

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.

Since 2003, elections have used a complicated mix of proportional representation and list voting that favours major parties and the heads of lists.

(With inputs from agency)