At least 301 people have been killed and nearly 15,000 wounded in Iraq since the beginning of the anti-government protest last month, the Independent High Commission for Human Rights of Iraq (IHCHR) said on Saturday.
Fresh clashes broke out between Iraq’s security forces and anti-government protesters in Baghdad and a number of Iraqi cities on Friday, despite a call for calm by the country’s top Shia leader. The security forces resorted to using tear gas and live bullets in the southern city of Basra, injuring 100 people, reported CNN.
Nationwide protests in Iraq began in early October and escalated in waves. People are demanding the ouster of the government, as well as economic reforms, better living conditions, social welfare and an end to corruption. The scale of the protests is believed to be the biggest since the fall of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein in 2003.
Officials have attempted to regain control with the use of lethal force, as well as by imposing curfews and internet blackouts in the country.