Iraq protest death toll nears 100: rights panel
Updated 05 October 2019 – AFP – Arab News – October 05, 2019 10:16
- Nearly 4,000 people have also been injured since protests began
- Iraqi PM Adel Abdul-Mahdi earlier imposed a curfew in attempt to quell unrest
BAGHDAD: The death toll from mass protests in Baghdad and cities across southern Iraq rose to 93 on Saturday as the unrest entered its fifth day, parliament’s human rights commission said.
Nearly 4,000 people have also been injured since the protests against chronic unemployment, poor public services and widespread corruption erupted in the capital on Tuesday, the commission said.
It was not immediately clear whether the latest deaths were from Friday’s huge protests or fresh demonstrations on Saturday.
The authorities have imposed a virtual blackout of the Internet and confirmation of protest casualties in the provinces has trickled in slowly.
Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi has ordered the lifting of the curfew imposed in Baghdad starting Saturday morning, Saudi state news agency SPA reported.
Abdul-Mahdi early on Thursday imposed an indefinite curfew on vehicles and individuals in Baghdad, after two days of violent protests, in an apparent attempt to quell further violence.
The influential Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr has called on the government to resign and early elections be held to bring the country out of a crisis, saying in a statement that shedding the blood of “Iraqis cannot be ignored.”
Parliament speaker Mohamed Al-Halbousi also said that Iraq needed to revolt against corruption and that the nation supports the demonstrators’ peaceful demands.