Death toll increases rapidly after four days of protests in Iraq

Last Updated: Oct 05 2019 18:32
Reading time: 0 mins, 36 secs

According to security and medical sources, the death toll in anti-government protests that have swept Iraq the past five days has increased to at least 70.

Since Friday, the figure has more than doubled as clashes between protesters and police intensified.

The military said, "unidentified snipers" had killed four people in Baghdad, including two police officers.

However, early on Saturday, the authorities lifted a daytime curfew in the capital.

Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi earlier said protesters' "legitimate demands" had been heard, but appealed for calm.

On Tuesday, spontaneous protests erupted amidst frustration over Iraq's high youth unemployment rate, its dire public services and chronic corruption.

It is seen as the first major challenge to Mahdi's fragile government, nearly a year since he came to power.