8 killed in anti-government protests in Iraq
Popular anger has been simmering in Iraq due to rising unemployment, rampant corruption
The death toll from anti-corruption protests in Iraq rose to eight in the past 24 hours, according to local medical sources on Sunday.
On Saturday, anti-riot forces opened fire on protesters attempting to reach the heavily fortified Green Zone in the capital Baghdad.
"Seven people were killed and around 90 others injured when [security forces] used gunfire and teargas canisters to disperse them," a medical source said.
Another demonstrator died of his wounds in the southern city of Basra, another medical source said. Both sources spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media.
At least 285 protesters have been killed and thousands injured in anti-government demonstrations throughout Iraq since Oct. 1, according to Iraqi sources.
Popular anger has been simmering in Iraq in recent years due to rising unemployment and rampant corruption. Many residents have limited access to basic services such as electricity and clean water.
Iraq's youth unemployment is around 25% according to World Bank figures. It is also the 12th most corrupt country in the world according to several organizations that monitor transparency.