21 Killed, 124 Wounded in Iraq; Baghdad Protests Turn Deadly
Demonstrators were able to breach security and enter the Green
Zone again on Friday, much as they did three weeks ago. Some of the
protesters made it as far as the prime minister’s office
before being turned back. To achieve submission, security forces used tear gas,
water cannons, sound bombs, and live fire. Many demonstrators retreated
to Tahrir Square, outside the Green Zone, but forces followed them there and
continued shooting. A curfew is in
Shi’ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr had asked his
followers to peacefully demonstrate against government corruption, and hundreds
of them have been answering
the call for several weeks. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said
he supported the demonstrators but could not accept them storming government
buildings. Sadr characterized
the violence as the Iraqi government “killing its children in cold
blood.” He also warned
that the protests will continue.
In other news, the Iraqi government has asked
to extradite a number of opposition figures, including Saddam Hussein’s
daughter, Raghad Saddam Hussein, from Jordan.
At least 21 people were killed and 124 were wounded
in other violence:
A bomb in Husseiniya killed
two people and wounded six others near some shops.
a policeman in Bashir.
snipers were killed in Albu Bali.
Security forces killed
eight militants and wounded 11 more in Rashad, Garma, Albu
Audah, and Shahbandar orchard.
In Tal Ezba, three
senior militants were killed.