Iraqi forces kill three protesters, cleric warns of crisis
Iraqi military forces killed three protesters in Baghdad on Friday as Iraq’s top cleric warned that only speedy electoral reforms would resolve conflict and unrest. Military forces also dispersed protesters blocking the country’s main port near Basra, using force. Sources claim that Iraqi security forces opened fire and launched tear gas at protesters, with two dead from bullet wounds and one from being struck in the head by a tear gas canister. There were at least 27 more injured in this incident. Security forces reopened the entrance to major port Umm Qasr, which had been blocked by protesters since last Monday. 329 people have been killed since the start of the demonstrations in Baghdad, the largest movement since the toppling of Saddam Hussein in 2003.
Protestors demand an overthrow of the corrupt political class, viewing them as rich from serving foreign powers while hundreds of thousands of Iraqis are plagued by poverty, lack of healthcare, employment, and education. Many protestors have turned to acts of civil disobedience recently as little to no changes have been made within the government since the start of the protests.