Protesters burn tires to block streets during a protest in Baghdad, Iraq, on Oct. 2, 2019. Demonstrations took place on Wednesday in Baghdad and other provinces as protesters rallied outside government buildings before they broke into some of them. The troubling situation comes on the second day of protests against corruption, lack of basic services and insufficient jobs. (Xinhua/Khalil Dawood)
BAGHDAD, Oct. 2 (Xinhua) -- Four people and a policeman were killed and more than 33 others wounded on Wednesday when hundreds of angry protesters broke into the headquarters of Dhi-Qar provincial government and set the building on fire.
The troubling situation comes on the second day of protests against corruption, lack of basic services and insufficient jobs.
"Local hospitals received the bodies of four protesters and a police officer killed in the violence that flared up in the city of Nasriyah," a source from the Dhi-Qar health department told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.
He said that some 33 protesters were admitted to the hospitals for treatment from injuries and suffocation by tear gas.
The elite counter-terrorism troops were deployed in Nasriyah city after the riot police and other security forces lost control of the situation in the streets, according to local media reports.
Abdul Hassan Dawood, head of Dhi-Qar media office, told Xinhua that security authorities decided to impose a curfew in the province from 8:00 p.m. local time (5:00 GMT) until further notice.
The demonstrations also took place in Baghdad and other provinces as protesters rallied outside government buildings before they broke into some of them.
Hundreds of protesters are also gathering outside local government buildings in the provinces of Wasit and Qadisiyah in an attempt to storm their way inside, while in Missan province the demonstrators flounced into government facilities and headquarters of several political parties, according to videotape aired by al-Sharqiyah channel.
The official Iraqiya channel said that protesters broke into the government building in the city of Hilla, Babel province, some 100 km south of Baghdad.
The demonstrators took to the streets in the provinces of Diyala, Muthanna, Basra and Najaf, in addition to the Iraqi capital Baghdad, the Iraqiya said.
In Baghdad, hundreds of demonstrators rallied in Tahrir Square in downtown Baghdad and clashes erupted with the riot police personnel who fired in the air to disperse the demonstrators who were trying to cross al-Jumhoriyah Bridge to reach the once heavily-fortified Green Zone, which houses the main government buildings and some foreign embassies.
More demonstrations spread across Baghdad neighborhoods as protesters blocked the streets and set fire to dozens of tires and caused plumes of smoke to rise in the city.
The protesters also blocked the main street of Baghdad airport as dozens seized the facility's main entrance.
The administration of Baghdad International Airport said that there was no change or stop in the flight schedules for the various airlines operating in the airport, confirming the continuation of air traffic.
Iraqi Defense Minister Najah al-Shammari said in a statement that he has decided to raise the state of alert for the Iraqi armed forces "to preserve state sovereignty and protect all foreign embassies and diplomatic missions operating in Iraq."
The demonstrations started on Tuesday afternoon, when hundreds of protesters took to the streets of Baghdad to express anger at the absence of improvement in basic services, including lack of electricity and clean water and unemployment.
The protests were echoed in other Iraqi cities with similar demonstrations taking place in Najaf, Basra and Diwaniyah in the south.
Tuesday's protests in Tahrir Square witnessed clashes between the demonstrators and riot police who used water cannons and tear gas and fired bullets in the air to disperse protesters who threw stones and empty bottles of water at security personnel.
A joint statement by the ministries of interior and health issued late on Tuesday night said that one protester was killed while 200 others wounded, including 40 security members, adding that "the government regrets the violence provoked by a group of rioters."