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Clashes between police and protesters killed at least 8 people in Baghdad on Saturday in a resumption of anti-government unrest, as security forces deployed in their hundreds to keep demonstrations away from central squares in the Iraqi capital.
Iraq's semi-official High Commission for Human Rights put the toll at 94 dead. Reuters could not verify its figures.
Police snipers shot at demonstrators and several people were wounded in eastern Baghdad, Reuters reporters said. Police also fired live rounds at demonstrators in the southern city of Nassiriya, where at least 18 people were killed during the week.
The new clashes shattered a day of relative calm after authorities lifted a curfew and traffic moved normally in the centre of the city. One square where protesters had gathered in their hundreds in previous was packed with hundreds of policemen and other security personnel.
The unrest is the deadliest Iraq has seen since the declared defeat of Islamic State in 2017 and has shaken Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi's year-old government. The government has responded with vague reform promises that are unlikely to placate Iraqis.
Iraqi state television meanwhile broadcast live footage of a meeting between the parliament speaker and what it said were protest leaders. The speaker on Friday proposed improving public housing for the poor and job opportunities for young people, as well as holding those who had killed protesters to account.
Anger at graft, lack of services
Officials from Abdul Mahdi's office met protest leaders from Baghdad and other provinces to discuss their demands, state television reported. Abdul Mahdi and President Barham Salih said they would seek to meet the demands, state television also reported, but gave no details how exactly they would respond.
Authorities did not say why the curfew was lifted.
The High Commission for Human Rights said security forces had detained hundreds of people for demonstrating but then let most of them go. It said more than 3,000 people had been wounded in days of violence.
Police snipers shot at protesters on Friday, ReutRead More – Source