NEWS CENTER - During the anti-government protests that have been going on in Iraq since October 1, the three-day period given by the demonstrators to the government for some demands has expired, hundreds of thousands of demonstrators have gone back to the streets.
Protests against the government continued in Iraq on Monday. Thousands of people have taken to the streets nationwide from the early morning to express their displeasure against the political elite, mismanagement, corruption and high unemployment. In the capital Baghdad, hundreds of demonstrators tried to set up roadblocks and were attacked by the security forces with tear gas and water cannons. Dozens of people are reported to have been injured, some of them seriously, medical personnel reported.
According to reports, two people died and at least 17 injured during the nationwide protests on Sunday.
In Basra, where demonstrations continue and many areas taken by protesters, security forces reportedly opened fire on crowds during Sunday’s protests, killing a demonstrator by the name of Liweyi Helfi.
The protest movement had issued an ultimatum and announced that the riots would intensify if their demands were not met by Monday. They are calling for the appointment of an independent person to put together a new government of technocrats, as well as snap elections and trial of those responsible for the deaths during the demonstrations.
On Sunday, demonstrators set fire to car tires in several cities in order to block roads and bridges. In Baghdad's central square, violent clashes broke out with security forces who used live ammunition and tear gas against the demonstrators. According to rescue workers, 20 people were injured in the clashes, which continued throughout the night. Some of them suffered gunshot wounds.
Hundreds of thousands of people have so far taken part in the wave of protests that broke out in Iraq on October 1. More than 500 people have lost their lives since, and more than 30 people who are said to have played leading roles in the uprisings have been assassinated. 56 protesters have disappeared, and their fate is unknown.