Protesters in Baghdad clashed with security forces on a fourth bridge over the Tigris River. Previous clashes forced the closure of three other spans resulting in paralyzing much of the city.
More than 29 people were wounded after being hit with batons or exposed to tear gas on or near Martyrs’ Bridge, said security and medical officials.
On Wednesday in central Baghdad, anti-government protesters stormed a bridge. The security forces pushed them back with batons and tear gas resulted in wounding dozens. Unfortunately, a medic was also killed while aiding demonstrators.
The protesters blocked the roads and ports. After which the military was called in. Instead of dismissing the crowd the military said that protesters had cost Iraq $6 billion, and it vowed to arrest those responsible.
Besides, the US Embassy condemned attacks on protesters and urged the government to “engage seriously and urgently” with the demonstrators.
The tens of thousands of protesters hit the streets in recent weeks in the capital across the Shia south. They are demanding for political change. Majorly, they are protesting against widespread corruption, a lack of job opportunities and poor basic services. This includes regular power cuts despite Iraq’s vast oil reserves.
Interestingly, the protesters have focused their anger on Shia political parties and militias, many of which have close ties to Iran. The protesters across the south attacked party and militia headquarters while setting some of them ablaze.
The protesters attacked the Iranian Consulate earlier this week in the holy city of Karbala. Along with this, they hurled firebombs over its walls. According to the reports around three people killed by the security forces as they dispersed the protest.
Days earlier, masked men suspected of links to the security forces opened fire on a demonstration there, killing at least 18 people. More than 273 protesters died in two major waves of demonstrations. Iraq’s leaders have promised reforms and early elections. The proposed process could take months resulting in protests grown in recent days.