BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Unidentified gunmen killed one of the most prominent anti-government protesters in Baghdad on Saturday as unidentified gunmen regained control of al-Khalani Square near the central Tahrir Square, an Iraqi security source said.
"We warn the government of the seriousness of the assassination and abduction of activists and reiterate our concerns about the abduction and assassination of activists, bloggers and civic organizations," the Human Rights Commission said in a statement.
It also called on the security services to "uncover the circumstances of the assassination of activist Adnan Rostom, and the need to preserve the lives of civilians in accordance with international laws."
Anti-government activists have been targeted at various intervals, most recently last month by activist Hussein Adel and his wife Sara, who were killed by unidentified gunmen who broke into their apartment in the southern city of Basra.
Al-Jazeera correspondent in Baghdad said that the demonstrators regained control of al-Khalani Square, near Tahrir Square in central Baghdad, after security forces succeeded in deporting them and closing the road leading to Tahrir Square with cement barriers.
The correspondent added that the demonstrators also took control of the building of the bridge of the bridge in Baghdad, stressing their position at the first security checkpoint, where there are riot police at the second checkpoint near the other bank of the bridge.
The Baghdad Operations Command announced earlier in the day to reopen the aviation-Alkhalani Square, and appealed to the demonstrators in Tahrir Square and its extensions to maintain peaceful demonstrations in the areas of Alkhalani and Alsink, and the preservation of public and private property.
The Tahrir Square in the center of the capital on Friday flocked crowds of demonstrators to participate in what they called "Friday steadfastness."
There was calm in the streets of the demonstrations in the early hours of the day as the nearby shops opened their doors to do business, especially the road leading to the square Khalani central Baghdad, packed with shops, and up to the large Shorja market.
|Since the beginning of October last year, popular protests in Baghdad and other provinces (Reuters)|
A bomb explosion
In the meantime, local sources said that the death toll of a bomb explosion near the Freedom Monument in Tahrir Square, central Baghdad rose to three, in addition to dozens of wounded.
Other sources said that the explosion was followed by two other explosions of sound bombs on the roads leading to Tahrir Square.
For its part, the Human Rights Commission in the country that the total number of victims of the demonstrations during the past two days rose to seven dead and more than 170 injured, in addition to the arrest of more than 100 people.
Since the beginning of October last year, there have been popular protests in Baghdad and other provinces, demanding the departure of Adel Abdul Mahdi's government, which has been in power for more than a year.
More than 325 people have been killed and 15,000 wounded, according to the parliamentary Human Rights Commission, the Human Rights Commission (an official parliament) and medical sources.
Protesters initially demanded better services, jobs and corruption, before their demands included the departure of the government and the political elite accused of corruption.