157 dead in Iraq protests: new official toll

Baghdad, Oct 22 (AFP/APP): The death toll from week-long anti-government protests that erupted in the Iraqi capital and other cities at the start of the month totaled 157, an official inquiry found on Tuesday.

Baghdad accounted for 111 of the dead, nearly all of whom were protesters, the inquiry found.

Around 70 percent of the deaths were caused by bullet wounds “to the head or chest”, according to the findings, published as Iraq braces for fresh protests on Friday.

The official toll included 149 civilians and eight members of the security forces killed between October 1 and 6, during protests in Baghdad and across southern provinces.

Four security personnel were killed in Baghdad, where clashes initially centred around the iconic Tahrir Square after protesters rallied to demand jobs, services and an end to corruption.

Later unrest in the capital culminated in the Sadr City, which faced a bloody night of violence.
Authorities formed a high commission of inquiry to investigate, after initially only acknowledging security forces used excessive force in just a few instances.

Iraq forces fire on dozens of protesters in Baghdad: AFP

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