The Iraq’s protests came to a head early on Tuesday, after the Iraqi security forces opened fire on protestors killing about 14 people and injuring 865 others in the city of Karbala, Reuters reported.
The second wave of anti-government protests entered its fifth day on Tuesday. The protesters, now joined by students, are gathering in Baghdad’s central Tahrir Square. Convoy of anti-riot police was seen driving towards the square.
Late on Monday, the demonstrators including students gathered in Baghdad’s central Tahrir Square, defying a night-time curfew declared by the Iraqi authorities.
It was reported that hundreds of protesters were in the encampment, when a passing car started to fire live rounds towards them. Then masked gunmen in black clothes arrived and started shooting at the demonstrators.
The reports also confirmed using tear gas against school and university students boycotting their classes to join the demonstrations, despite a warning from Prime Minister Abdul Mahdi to “stay away”.
Eyewitness also said that two soldiers were seen beating high school students with batons in the capital city of Baghdad. A statement from the Iraqi Defence Ministry condemned the incident saying the soldiers did not represent the Iraqi army.
On the other hand, the Governor of Karbala Nasif al-Khattabi denied the reports about the 14 killed in the demonstration, saying “we have issued orders not to use live bullets and the videos promoted by some sites are not in the province,” according to the Iraqi News Agency (INA).