Media: in Baghdad, five policemen were injured in clashes with demonstrators

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kazimi called on the demonstrators to protest peacefully.

Several members of the Iraqi security forces were injured in clashes with demonstrators in the capital, Baghdad, on Sunday. This was reported by the Al Hadath TV channel.

 

According to it, at least five members of the law enforcement agencies were injured when individual demonstrators started throwing stones at police officers.

In this regard, General Tahsin al-Khafaji, the spokesman for the Joint Iraqi Army Command, said that the law enforcement units have been instructed not to take weapons with them during demonstrations.

“The security forces [at the demonstrations] do not have weapons”, –  he explained. However, as al-Khafaji pointed out, “any attempt to damage economic facilities [by protesters] will have the police react accordingly.”

Meanwhile, Al Hadath reported dozens of demonstrators injured by the use of tear gas grenades by police against them. It is also reported that more than 10 protesters have been arrested.

Increased security measures have now been put in place in Baghdad in connection with the first anniversary of the large-scale protests that swept the capital and several provinces in southern and central Iraq last autumn. Security forces have blocked several streets and bridges leading to the centre of Baghdad and cordoned off the green zone, where most government agencies and foreign embassies are located.

A few hours ago, Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kazimi ordered the security forces to “protect demonstrators from provocative acts of instigators” and called on protesters to protest peacefully and respect the rule of law.

Last October, protests began in Baghdad and parts of the country against worsening living conditions, high youth unemployment and corruption. Almost everywhere, they were accompanied by violence and unrest. Within a few months, clashes between demonstrators and security forces had affected around 500 people and several tens of thousands of Iraqis.

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