Protesters attack headquarters of provincial gov't, political parties in Iraq: statement

Source: Xinhua| 2019-10-25 23:17:53|Editor: yan
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BAGHDAD, Oct. 25 (Xinhua) -- Protesters on Friday attacked the provincial government buildings and offices of some political parties in several provinces as anti-government demonstrations continue over unemployment, corruption and lack of public services.

A statement by the Iraqi Independent High Commission for Human Rights (IHCHR) said that the commission's teams have documented the burning of the headquarters of leading political parties.

In Iraq's eastern province of Wasit, demonstrators burned the Islamic Dawa Party headquarters and stormed the house of the governor in the province, while in the southern province of Dhi Qar, protesters burned the provincial government building, according to the IHCHR statement.

The statement said that two protesters were killed due to suffocation by tear gas used by the riot police, and a total of 974 people, including security members, were wounded in the clashes.

Meanwhile, the media office affiliated with the Iraqi Joint Operation Command said in a statement that the intelligence forces captured one person in Sadoun Street in downtown Baghdad for holding pistol and was shooting both protesters and security forces.

Moreover, the state-run Iraqiya television reported that demonstrators captured another person, who fired bullets at the security forces in Tahrir Square in downtown Baghdad.

Since the early hours of the day, hundreds of protesters rallied in the square on the eastern side of the Tigris River and frequently tried to cross the nearby al-Jumhouriyah Bridge to reach the Green Zone, but were prevented by the riot police.

The repeated attempts to cross the bridge pushed the security forces to completely close it with three-meter high concrete blocks.

The demonstrations came after Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi made a televised speech, in which he warned of chaos if the government resigns, and promised a cabinet reshuffle, more job opportunities and the establishment of a court to prosecute corrupt officials should he remain in power.

Earlier this month, massive protests erupted in Baghdad and other central and southern provinces over similar reasons.