In a firearm raid on participants of a demonstration, 18 people were killed in the Iraqi city of Karbala. In addition, there were hundreds injured, Iraqi officials said. According to eyewitnesses, masked people opened the fire.
Since last week, Iraq is again demonstrating against the government. This resulted in violent riots. At least 90 people have been killed in the protests since last Friday. 149 people died in an earlier wave of protests in October. In a report commissioned by the government, it was said that most of the victims were killed by shooting in the head or chest. Since the beginning of the month, more than 3,000 people have been injured in the demonstrations.
The protesters criticize the government of Prime Minister Adil Abd al-Mahdi and a political elite who accuse them of corruption. Add to this the bad economic situation. One in five citizens lives in poverty and youth unemployment is around 25 percent according to the World Bank.
Iraq - New clashes between protesters and police Thousands of people have demonstrated in Iraq against youth unemployment, mismanagement and corruption. The police reacted with tear gas. © Photo: AFP / Getty Images
Focus of the demonstrations is the capital Baghdad. There, security forces had cracked down on students and students after four consecutive days of protest. Shortly thereafter, a curfew was ordered. People also take to the streets in the Shiite stronghold of Karbala and in southern Nassiriya.