Five more Iraqis killed as violent protests spread nationwide

  02 October 2019    Read: 709
Five more Iraqis killed as violent protests spread nationwide

Five people were killed and at least 132 wounded on Wednesday in renewed nationwide clashes between demonstrators and Iraqi security forces, the largest display of public anger against Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi’s year-old government, reports citing Reuters.

Domestic instability coupled with regional tensions could prove to be the final nail in the coffin of Abdul Mahdi’s fragile coalition government, sworn in last year as a compromise between rival factions after an inconclusive election.

The protests, which started on Tuesday over unemployment, corruption, and poor public services, have escalated, with many chanting for the “fall of the regime”, a slogan first popularized during the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings.

“We are demanding a change, we want the downfall of the whole government,” said one protester in Baghdad who declined to identify himself for fear of reprisal.

Any power vacuum in Iraq, should the government be toppled, could prove challenging for the region, given Iraq’s rare status as an ally of both Washington and Tehran who are currently embroiled in a standoff.

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