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Iraq protests blamed on ‘malicious hands’ as death toll passes 100

By Associated Press, The Guardian, October 2019

An Iraqi interior ministry spokesman has said an investigation is underway to determine how protesters were shot dead during six days of unrest that have killed more than 100 people and injured thousands.

Twelve anti-government demonstrators were killed on Sunday in ongoing protests in Baghdad. Saad Maan, a spokesman for the ministry, claimed on Sunday that security forces did not confront the protesters, adding that “malicious hands” were behind targeting protesters and security members alike. He said protesters had burned 51 public buildings and eight political party headquarters.

Protesters and journalists on the scene say they witnessed security forces firing on demonstrators with some saying snipers were taking part. Maan said most of those killed on Friday were hit in the head and heart.

Protests have raged in Baghdad and southern cities since Tuesday. Maan said 104 people, including eight security force members, had been killed and more than 6,100 wounded, including more than 1,200 security members.

On Sunday, army soldiers fired in the direction of about 300 anti-government protesters who gathered in a suburb of the Iraqi capital.

Security agencies hope the trial, which is expected to continue until at least April and hear testimony from about 75 witnesses, will reveal the scope of the network.

Read the full story via The Guardian