AP NEWS

The Latest: Death toll of Iraqi protesters at 40 in 24 hours

November 29, 2019
A anti-government protester prepares to throw a molotov cocktail toward security forces during clashes on Rasheed Street in Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday, Nov. 28, 2019. Anti-government protests have gripped Iraq since Oct. 1, when thousands took to the streets in Baghdad and the predominantly Shiite south. The largely leaderless movement is accusing the government of being hopelessly corrupt, and also decries Iran's growing influence in Iraqi state affairs. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)
A anti-government protester prepares to throw a molotov cocktail toward security forces during clashes on Rasheed Street in Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday, Nov. 28, 2019. Anti-government protests have gripped Iraq since Oct. 1, when thousands took to the streets in Baghdad and the predominantly Shiite south. The largely leaderless movement is accusing the government of being hopelessly corrupt, and also decries Iran's growing influence in Iraqi state affairs. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)

BAGHDAD (AP) — The Latest on anti-government demonstrations in Iraq (all times local):

10:50 p.m.

Iraqi officials say five anti-government protesters have been killed by security forces in the holy city of Najaf, amid tension following the burning of an Iranian consulate, bringing the death toll to 40 over 24 hours.

Security and medical officials say five protesters were killed and 32 wounded late Thursday when security forces fired live rounds to repel them from setting alight a central mosque in Najaf.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.

Protesters had torched the Iranian consulate the previous night. One demonstrator was killed when security forces attempted to prevent them from storming the building.

Thirty-five protesters were killed by security forces in separate demonstrations in Nasiriyah and Baghdad since Wednesday evening.

At least 350 people have died since Oct. 1, when protesters took to the streets to decry corruption.

— By Murtada Faraj.

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5:20 p.m.

Iraqi officials say 27 protesters have been shot dead in the last 24 hours, amid spiraling violence in Baghdad and southern Iraq.

Security and medical officials say 23 protesters were killed Thursday by security forces who used live fire to break a sit-in on the main entrance to the southern city of Nasiriyah. Following days of road closures by demonstrators, security forces fired live rounds to disperse crowds and open the street, officials say.

Officials spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.

Four protesters were shot by security forces in Baghdad when demonstrators tried to cross the strategic Ahrar bridge leading to the fortified Green Zone, the seat of Iraq’s government, amid escalating violence.

Protesters are occupying two other bridges - Jumhuriya and Sinak - which also lead to the Green Zone.

By Murtada Faraj.

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3:45 p.m.

Iraqi officials say four protesters were shot dead by security forces and 22 were wounded, amid ongoing clashes on a strategic Baghdad bridge.

Security and medical officials say security forces fired live rounds when protesters attempted to climb over barricades on Ahrar Bridge.

Protesters are occupying three key bridges - Jumhuriya, Sinak and Ahrar - in a standoff with security forces. The bridges lead toward the fortified Green Zone, the seat of Iraq’s government.

At least 350 people have died since Oct. 1, when thousands of protesters took to the streets to decry corruption and poor services.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations

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10:45 a.m.

Iran has condemned the burning of its consulate in southern Iraq by anti-government protesters hours earlier.

Iran’s official IRNA news agency said Thursday that Abbas Mousavi, a foreign ministry spokesman, called for a “responsible, strong and effective” response from Iraq’s government.

An Iraqi police official had said protesters set fire to the Iranian consulate in the holy city of Najaf late Wednesday. Iranian staff were not harmed, escaping out the back door.

The police official said one protester was killed and 35 wounded when police fired live ammunition to prevent them from entering the building. Demonstrators removed the Iranian flag and replaced it with an Iraqi one.

Anti-government protests have gripped Iraq for nearly two months. They accuse Iraq’s Shiite-led government of being hopelessly corrupt and decry growing Iranian influence.