The Latest: 23 killed in Iraq anti-government demonstrations

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An injured protestor is rushed to a hospital during a demonstration in central Baghdad, Iraq, Friday, Oct. 25, 2019. Iraqi police fired live shots into the air as well as rubber bullets and dozens of tear gas canisters on Friday to disperse thousands of protesters on the streets of Baghdad, sending young demonstrators running for cover and enveloping a main bridge in the capital with thick white smoke. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)

BAGHDAD (AP) — The Latest on developments in Iraq as more anti-government protests erupt in Baghdad (all times local):

8:10 p.m.

Iraqi security officials say at least 23 people have been killed in protests in Baghdad and across provinces in the country’s Shiite-dominated south.

The officials say the dead include eight protesters who were killed in Baghdad. The remaining deaths were distributed across the provinces of Basra, Nasiriyah, Misan and Muthanna in southern Iraq.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.

Most of the deaths occurred as a result of tear gas canisters that were fired directly at protesters, as well as rubber bullets and live ammunition.

By Qassim Abdul-Zahra

___

4:55 p.m.

A senior Iraqi security official says four more protesters have been killed during anti-government demonstrations in Baghdad, raising the total number of those killed to five.

The official said the new deaths occurred Friday as security forces fired tear gas and rubber bullets and live rounds to push back and disperse protesters, who are calling for jobs, basic services and an end to corruption. The official spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.

Earlier, a protester was killed near the entrance leading to the city’s heavily fortified Green Zone as hundreds of protesters tried to remove concrete security barriers.

The official says dozens of people have been injured Friday.

By Qassim Abdul-Zahra

___

1:30 p.m.

Iraqi security officials say one protester has been shot and killed during demonstrations in the capital of Baghdad.

The officials say the protester was killed near the gate leading to the city’s heavily fortified Green Zone.

It’s the first death in the new round of anti-government protests, which began on Friday morning.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.

Iraqi police fired live shots into the air as well as rubber bullets and dozens of tear gas canisters to disperse thousands of protesters on the streets of Baghdad. The protesters are demanding jobs, improved services and an end to corruption.

—Qassim Abdul-Zahra

___

9:55 a.m.

Iraqi police are firing tear gas to disperse thousands of protesters in Baghdad where planned anti-government demonstrations have resumed after a three-week hiatus.

Heavy security forces have been deployed on the streets of Baghdad in anticipation of Friday’s protests.

The protests are a continuation of the economically-driven demonstrations that began in early October and turned deadly as security forces cracked down, using live ammunition.

After a week of violence, a government-appointed inquiry into the protests determined that security forces had used excessive force, killing 149 people and wounding over 3,000. Eight members of the security forces were also killed.

Also on Friday, Iraqi soldiers fired tear gas as protesters tried to cross a bridge leading to Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone, home to the U.S. Embassy and Iraqi government offices.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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