Two demonstrators were killed and 38 wounded in Baghdad as a result of the firing of tear gas, while demonstrations continue in the capital and a number of southern Iraqi provinces, where protesters blocked a number of roads and government buildings, security and medical sources and witnesses said.

Security and medical sources told Reuters that two people were killed in the early hours of the day after the security forces fired tear gas canisters at the demonstrators near the bridges of Al-Sing and Ahrar.

The agency quoted medical sources that the cause of death in both cases was a direct injury to the head with gas bombs.

Sources in a hospital in Baghdad that the wounded protesters were wounded by targeted live bullets, tear gas canisters and rubber bullets.

Since the beginning of protests in Iraq in early October 2019, more than 330 people have been killed in Baghdad and the country's southern regions in the largest public protests since the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime in 2003.

Protesters are demanding the overthrow of the political system and sweeping reforms, accusing the political class of "corruption" and "failure" to run the country.

Protesters sit in Tahrir Square in central Baghdad to pressure authorities to meet their demands (Anatolia)

Free Bridge
The Al-Ahrar bridge in Baghdad witnessed late last night, limited clashes between the demonstrators and security forces, after they burned a number of tents in addition to the supplies of the demonstrators, and kept them away from the bridge, then managed to return to their places.

Al-Jazeera correspondent Amer Lafi said clashes took place late on Wednesday between security and protesters near al-Ahrar bridge as security forces tried to keep protesters away from the bridge and push them back to Tahrir Square, the central and permanent place for Baghdad protests.

Demonstrators frequently seek to break the security cordon imposed on the bridges of the Republic, Ahrar and Senk, and cross from Rusafa to Karkh, where the Green Zone, which includes most government buildings and many foreign embassies, is blocked by security forces.

Baghdad's Tahrir Square witnessed the funeral of one of the demonstrators, who died of his wounds he sustained last week in clashes between riot police and demonstrators in al-Khalani Square in central Baghdad.

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Southern Governorates
Outside Baghdad, protests led to the closure of several government departments and the blocking of roads leading to vital facilities, particularly ports such as Khor al-Zubair and Umm Qasr in the oil-rich Basra province.

The AFP news agency reported that the demonstrators closed government buildings and schools in the cities of Hilla, Nasiriyah, Diwaniyah and Kut in southern Iraq.

Al-Jazeera correspondent in Baghdad said that a state of hit-and-run between protesters and security forces in the central and southern provinces of the country, as protesters are trying to close roads leading to ports and oil fields for the security forces to intervene to reopen.

The correspondent added that security forces reopened this morning the road leading to the oil field of twenty, and the authorities opened the border crossing Safwan between Iraq and Kuwait after the protesters closed, and blocked the road leading to the port of Khor Al-Zubair.

Also in Dhi Qar province in the south, local sources said security fired tear gas and live bullets to disperse the protesters who tried to storm an oil company in the province.

Schools, universities, institutes and a number of institutions and businesses are still closing, especially in the southern governorates.