(PM) – At least 63 people have been killed as anti-government protests in Baghdad, and surrounding areas, continue for the second consecutive day. Security forces used tear gas and live bullets to disperse protesters on Saturday.
Over 2,000 people have been injured in the two-day protests. Citizens are protesting high unemployment, bad living conditions, and government corruption. Protesters vow to protest until Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi’s government resigns.
Youth unemployment sits at around 25% in the country and a fifth of the country lives below the poverty line.
Demonstrators in the Southern part of the country torched government and paramilitary offices belonging to factions of Hashed al-Shaabi.
On Friday, protestors attempted to enter the Green Zone, a fortified area where Western embassies and the Iraqi parliament are situated, by removing concrete walls protecting the area.
On Friday, Iraq’s Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi announced a ministerial reshuffle, focusing on the “competencies and independence of ministers and an increasing presence of women and youth.” He also announced that the salaries of country lawmakers and politicians, including the President and Prime Minister, will be reduced.
Earlier this month, over 100 protesters were killed in similar demonstrations across Southern Iraq.