Iraqis mourn protesters shot dead in Baghdad Green Zone

At least four dead and more than 100 injured after police used live fire and tear gas to disperse Green Zone protesters.

    At least four anti-government protesters, who were among thousands that stormed Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone, were killed on Friday.

    Police and hospital officials said more than 100 demonstrators were also injured after authorities used tear gas and live fire to break up the protest in the government district.

    It was the second time within a month that protesters calling for an end to corruption and more security had stormed the Green Zone, which houses parliament, government buildings and many foreign embassies.

    Funeral processions were held for two of the deceased victims on Saturday.

    Al Jazeera's Omar Al Saleh, reporting from the Iraqi city of Erbil, said that the atmosphere remains tense in Baghdad after the "chaotic" clashes.

    The thousands of protesters included supporters of Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr and people from other groups upset about the government's failure to approve anti-corruption reforms and provide security.

    Protesters occupied the cabinet building for several hours. Some held Iraqi flags and flashed peace signs near the insignia of the prime minister's press office and inside a meeting room.


    READ MORE: Silencing the critics - Iraq's media muzzle


    The protesters eventually withdrew to Tahrir Square, but witnesses said security forces and unidentified gunmen opened fire there as well.

    Supporters of al-Sadr and other groups have been protesting for months to demand reforms and an end to corruption and provide security. They had stormed the Green Zone on April 30.

    They have added to their grievances the government's failure to provide security after a wave of bombings claimed by ISIL, which is also known as ISIS, in Baghdad this month which killed more than 150 people.

    Iraq's political crisis broke out in February, when Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced plans to appoint a cabinet of independent technocrats, threatening to uproot a system of political patronage that makes the public administration open to corruption.

    Al Jazeera's Al Saleh added that the country's severe lack of job opportunities, public services and electricity have fuelled public frustration over corruption.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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