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Iraq's Interior Ministry Investigates Deadly Live Fire

Iraq's Interior Ministry Investigates Deadly Live Fire

Sunday, 6 October, 2019 - 18:00
Demonstrators gather at a protest after the lifting of the curfew, following four days of nationwide anti-government protests that turned violent, in Baghdad, Iraq October 5, 2019. REUTERS

No Iraqi government forces fired directly at protesters during demonstrations, the spokesman for Iraq's Interior Ministry, Major General Saad Maan, said on Sunday.

In a news conference broadcast on state television, Maan also said that authorities condemned all attacks against media outlets, after reports of raids at the offices of several local and international news outlets by unidentified groups.

At least 104 people have been killed and more than 6,000 wounded in less than a week of unrest in Iraq, Maan stated.

He said an investigation is underway to determine the source of live fire that killed many of those who have died in the unrest.

He revealed that eight members of the security forces were among those killed and 51 public buildings and eight political party headquarters had been torched by protesters.

Maan accused "malicious hands" of targeting protesters and security forces as well on Friday, the bloodiest day of the unrest in Baghdad.

Shortly after his press conference, Iraqi officials said seven anti-government demonstrators were killed and 17 wounded in Baghdad.

A medical official in a local hospital and a security official said the seven were killed on Sunday in Sadr City, where hundreds have gathered trying to break through a security cordon to head to the city center. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to reporters.

Security forces had sealed off Tahrir Square and heavily deployed all the way to Sadr City, about 4 kilometers away to keep protesters back.

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