At least six people were killed during a crackdown on demonstrations in the centre of the Iraqi capital Baghdad on Saturday, an Iraqi human rights group said Saturday. According to human rights activists, law enforcement forces actively used tear gas and live bullets to disperse protests.
المرصد العراقي لحقوق الإنسان: مقتل ستة متظاهرين على الأقل بين ساحتي التحرير والخلاني.— iraqi observatory for human rights المرصد العراقي (@IraqHumanRights) November 9, 2019
المرصد العراقي لحقوق الإنسان: القوات الأمنية تقتحم ساحة الطيران القريبة من ساحة التحرير.
المرصد العراقي لحقوق الإنسان: المتظاهرون يطلقون نداءات إستغاثة لإيقاف عمليات العُنف المرتكبة بحقهم.
Meanwhile, medics and police sources told AFP that one died after a tear gas canister hit him on the head while three others were killed by gunshots. Some 80 demonstrators sustained injuries.
Saturday protests in the Iraqi capital were marked by security forces taking over three major bridges that had been granting protestors access to government buildings. Amid clashes with the demonstrators, the authorities used stun grenades and tear gas.
In the meantime, Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi pledged reforms in an attempt to end the protests, admitting that the political leadership had made a series of errors in running the country.
"Political forces and parties are important institutions in any democratic system, and they have made great sacrifices, but they have also made many mistakes," Abdul Mahdi said in a statement.
Mass demonstrations have swept Iraq since last month. The protesters have demanded reform of the Iraqi political system that was formed following the 2003 US-led invasion of the Middle Eastern country.
So far, over 250 people have been killed in the demonstrations.