3 killed in clashes of Iraqi anti-gov't protests

Source: Xinhua| 2020-01-26 00:24:31|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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BAGHDAD, Jan. 25 (Xinhua) -- Three protesters were killed and more than 15 were wounded in clashes with the security forces on Saturday in Baghdad and Iraq's southern province of Dhi Qar, security sources said.

The clashes erupted when riot police tried to reopen al-Fuhoud in the provincial capital city of Nasriyah, leaving three protesters killed and seven others wounded, a provincial security source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

In Baghdad, at least eight protesters were wounded in clashes with riot police at the perimeter of al-Tahrir Square, the epicenter of Iraq's anti-government protests since early in October, an Interior Ministry official anonymously told Xinhua.

There were no reports about deaths in Baghdad protests so far, the official said.

The clashes erupted after thousands of protesters poured in al-Tahrir Square to replace thousands of supporters of Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.

In the morning, the security forces reopened bridges, squares and roads in Baghdad and other cities in southern Iraq, which were blocked during the past few months by anti-government protesters.

The advance of the security forces came hours after al-Sadr's followers withdrew following a tweet he posted, in which he accused some protesters of being supported by forces from outside Iraq.

Mass anti-government demonstrations have been launched in Baghdad and other cities in central and southern Iraq since early October, demanding comprehensive reform, fight against corruption, better public services and more job opportunities.