Six killed in three separate Baghdad explosions: Sources - GulfToday

Six killed in three separate Baghdad explosions: Sources


Protesters burn tyres to block a street during ongoing anti-government protests in Najaf, Iraq, on Tuesday. Reuters

At least six people were killed and 15 wounded in Baghdad in three separate explosions on Tuesday, Iraqi security and medical sources said.

Three people were killed and five wounded in the capital’s northern Shaab district when a motorcycle exploded, the sources said. A second motorcycle exploded in the southwestern Bayaa district, killing two and wounding six.

An improvised explosive device went off in the eastern Baladiyat district, killing one person and wounding four.

Two protesters were killed on Tuesday as anti-government demonstrations took a more violent turn in Iraq’s capital and restive south, where burning tyres blocked highways and thick black smoke blanketed cities.

The deaths in clashes with security forces sent the toll from nearly two months of protests to more than 350 people dead, according to an AFP tally.

In the city of Karbala, one person was killed as protests became chaotic “clashes” with security forces, a medical source told AFP.

There were no immediate details about the victim’s identity or cause of death, but the medic said the toll was likely to rise further.

AFP’s correspondent saw riot police fire live rounds both into the air and directly at crowds of teenage protesters. At least one demonstrator suffered a bullet wound to the head.

In one face-off under a bridge, teenagers threw rocks at riot police trucks, bursting into song when the vehicles screeched away.

Clashes also erupted in Baghdad, where security forces fired rubber bullets and tear gas to keep demonstrators away from Al-Ahrar bridge, which leads to government buildings on the west bank of the river Tigris.

One protester died after being shot by a rubber bullet and 18 were wounded, a medical source said.

A body bearing a rubber bullet wound was also found underneath Al-Ahrar on Tuesday, but it was unclear when the person had died, the medic said.

The historic districts near Al-Ahrar have morphed into arenas for daily street battles.

Demonstrators — mostly teenagers who have been there for days or weeks — throw rocks from behind makeshift barricades at security forces firing tear gas, rubber bullets, live rounds and even machinegun fire.

“We won’t leave unless it’s in coffins,” one protester told AFP.

“Either way, I’ve got no job, no money, so whether I stay here or go home, it’s all the same,” said another.

An Iraqi tricolour tied around his shoulders, he went on bitterly: “I’ll never be able to get married without work or a salary, so I’ve got no family and no home anyway.” Smoke bombs exploded all around them, filling the colonnaded streets with puffs of orange, green and purple.

In the south, protesters burned tyres along highways outside the city of Diwaniyah, blockading bridges and one of the province’s three power stations.

In the city itself, massive crowds marched through the streets, tearing down posters of politicians and beating them with shoes to insult them.

“It’s been two months, we’re sick of your promises,” they chanted. Schools and public buildings have been shut in Diwaniyah for the past month by strikes and road closures, but skirmishes with riot police have been rare.

In nearby Hillah, usually peaceful sit-ins took a violent turn overnight when security forces fired tear gas grenades at protesters, wounding around 60, medics said.

Demonstrators and security forces in Karbala lobbed Molotov cocktails at each another.

Night-time skirmishes have become routine in the city.

In Dhi Qar, arterial routes linking key cities and the three oilfields of Garraf, Nasiriyah and Subba were shut.

Clashes with police guarding the fields wounded 13 officers.

Together, the three oilfields produce around 200,000 of Iraq’s roughly 3.6 million barrels a day.

Iraq is ranked OPEC’s second-biggest crude producer and, according to Transparency International, the world’s 12th most corrupt country.


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