2019-10-08 10:11:36

Shafaq News/ A security man was shot dead by gunmen near government offices in Baghdad, the Joint Operations Command said.

"During the protection of the municipal council, the court and the demonstrators near al-Mudhaffar square - near Sadr City – by an unarmed force for protecting the facilities and while they were near the demonstrators, they came under heavy fire," a statement from the leadership said.

He added that the attack "led to the death of one of its members and wounded four others, including two officers."

He stressed that " the force did not respond to fire similarly to prevent escalation that may lead to more victims therefore stress the importance of maintaining peaceful demonstrations , secure the protection of demonstrators , institutions and public and private interests as our security forces will deal with any armed targeted security forces that might endanger the lives of demonstrators in accordance with the law”.

Protesters began gathering in Baghdad's Sadr City late on Monday after clashes with security forces expanded into the sprawling slum of the capital for the first time in events killing 15 people.

 

The overnight clashes brought the death toll from the week-long unrest to 110, most of them protesters demanding the dismissal of the government and reforms including its political elite.

The spillover of violence into Sadr City since Sunday evening poses a new security challenge to authorities dealing with the worst unrest since the Islamic state was defeated two years ago.

Historically, it has been difficult to quell the unrest in Sadr City, home to about a third of Baghdad's 8 million people living in narrow alleys, many without a steady supply of electricity and water and many unemployed.

Things were calmer on Monday. The army has withdrawn its troops and handed over the task of monitoring the security situation in the city to federal police in a sign that the authorities want to avoid clashes with supporters of the powerful opposition cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, who demanded the government to resign.

The unrest over the past week has abruptly ended a relative two-year of calmness that Iraq has not seen since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003. Many Iraqis, especially young people, say widespread corruption in the government is denying them the benefit of restoring stability after years of foreign occupation and sectarian fighting.

Many have criticized the government's violent response to the protests, saying they have fueled public anger.

Internet services were cut off for days, disrupting communications and contributing to widespread discontent. These services returned for a few hours on Monday evening and some published coverage of recent protests on social media before the service was stopped again.

}