Iraq says 5 killed in renewed demonstrations

Iraq says 5 killed in renewed demonstrations

Iraqi officials say five people have been killed in renewed anti-government protests in the Iraqi capital after security forces fired on them on a fifth day of unrest.

The protests Saturday come after a two-day around-the-clock curfew has been lifted.

This brings the death toll since the protests began on Tuesday to at least 69. A semi-official body put the death toll at 94 in Baghdad and southern cities.

Security forces have responded with live ammunition and tear gas to the unprecedented popular anger, sparked by lack of jobs, and endemic corruption in the oil-rich country.

Health and police officials said a protester was killed in the Zafaraniya neighborhood in south Baghdad, and 13 were wounded. In central Baghdad, four protesters were killed. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not allowed to brief reporters.

Iraqi officials say one person has been killed and 17 injured as security forces fired on anti-government protesters to disperse renewed demonstrations in the capital Baghdad.

The protests Saturday come after a two-day around-the-clock curfew has been lifted. They also come as Iraqi religious leaders appealed for calm and while politicians scramble to contain the unprecedented popular expression of anger.

Since the start of the protests Tuesday, security forces have responded with live ammunition and tear gas, leaving at least 65 people killed in Baghdad and other southern cities.

Health and police officials said a protester was killed in Zafaraniya in south Baghdad, and 13 were injured. In central Baghdad, four protesters were wounded. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not allowed to brief reporters.

The spontaneous rallies are the most serious challenge since the defeat of the Islamic State two years ago. The protesters want jobs, and an end to corruption in the oil-rich country.