BAGHDAD (Dispatches) – A policeman has been killed and dozens of people injured in clashes between security forces and anti-government protesters in southern Iraq.
The violence erupted in Haboubi Square in the city of Nasiriya on Sunday after the recent arrest of activists in Dhi Qar province.
Hundreds of protesters filled the streets shouting slogans against the prevailing economic conditions in the Arab country.
Reports said that some of the demonstrators threw Molotov cocktails, and others set fire to tires during the rally, which turned violent when police forces intervened to disperse the raging crowds.
Dozens of protesters torched car tyres and blocked a main road in the city, witnesses said.
The policeman was "killed by a bullet to the head”, an unnamed medic in the city – 300km (190 miles) south of the capital, Baghdad – told AFP news agency.
"One policeman was killed and 33 others were injured during the events that took place today, Sunday, in the city of Nasiriyah, Dhi Qar Governorate,” said a statement issued by the country’s security forces.
Officials said at least 18 protesters were injured and more than 40 were hurt among security forces.
Protests erupted in Iraq in October 2019 over rising unemployment rate and a lack of basic services, calling for economic reforms and a meaningful fight against alleged corruption.
The rallies primarily rocked Baghdad and the southern areas of Iraq.
The protests finally led to the resignation of prime minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi, who was replaced by Mustafa al-Kadhimi following months of political deadlock.