Death toll in Iraq anti-government unrest at 19

AP , Thursday 3 Oct 2019

Death toll in anti-government unrest in Iraq rises to 19 after 10 more protesters killed overnight

An Injured protester walks towards Tahrir square to join anti-government protesters in central Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019 (Photo: AP)

Iraqi medical officials say 10 people were killed in southern Iraq overnight, raising the death toll since anti-government protests erupted across the country earlier this week to 19.

The officials say five people were killed in the southern city of Amara and five others in the city of Nasiriyah late on Wednesday night.

They say the five dead in Nasiryah were four civilians and a policeman.

The officials also said on Thursday that 45 people were wounded in Amara, some of whom suffered wounds from rubber bullets.

The anti-government protests began on Tuesday and spread to most areas in southern Iraq a day later.

An Iraqi official says Baghdad has closed a border crossing with Iran because of deadly unrest in Iraq amid anti-government protests in the Iraqi capital and several southern provinces.

The official says the Khesro border crossing with Iran in the eastern province of Diyala will remain closed until further notice.

Iran's state television said the border was closed due to the ``situation" in Iraq.

The Iraqi official said that also the al-Shib border crossing between the two countries was briefly closed overnight. The official spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.

There are nine border crossings between the two countries.

Iraqi security officials say unknown assailants have shot and killed an Iraqi activist and his wife in the southern city of Basra.

The officials say Hussein Adel Madani, a cartoonist, was shot dead along with his wife, Sara Madani, by masked gunmen who stormed their house in the city early on Thursday amid ongoing unrest and protests gripping the country.

The well-known activists had been taking part in protests in the city Wednesday night. They were shot dead a few hours later. The couple has a two-year-old daughter, Zahra, who was unharmed.

There was no claim of responsibility for the attack, which is the latest in a string of assassinations targeting activists in Basra in the past year.

Iraqi security forces have fired live bullets and used tear gas against a few hundred protesters in central Baghdad, hours after a curfew was announced in the Iraqi capital on the heels of two days of deadly violence that gripped the country amid anti-government protests.

Before dawn on Thursday, explosions were heard inside Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone, home to government offices and foreign embassies. The U.S.-led coalition said an investigation is underway, adding that no coalition forces or assets were hit.

So far, at least nine people have been reported killed and hundreds have been wounded since the violence and clashes between security forces and anti-government demonstrators first erupted on Tuesday.


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