World, Middle East

Iraq: Death toll of assault on Najaf protesters hits 11

More than 120 injured when al-Sadr supporters opened fire on protesters in central Iraq

Ali Jawad   | 06.02.2020
Iraq: Death toll of assault on Najaf protesters hits 11 File Photo

BAGHDAD

The death toll of assault carried out by supporters of Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr against Iraqi protesters in central Iraq province of Najaf rose to 11, said a medical source on Thursday. 

"The majority of the dead and wounded were shot by guns and stabbed with knives," the source, who works at Al-Sadr Teaching Hospital in Najaf, told Anadolu Agency.

The source added that more than 120 people were injured in the attacks.

For his part, a security source in the Najaf Police Command told Anadolu Agency that "the anti-terror security forces were deployed in the middle of Najaf to contain the escalation."

Al-Sadr supporters -- known also as the Blue Hats -- late Wednesday attacked protesters in Najaf, also setting on fire tents set up by protesters.

The Blue Hats later announced the square was under their control after protesters were moved out.

Meanwhile, in Babil, one person was killed after the Blue Hats attacked protesters in the central Iraqi city.

Protesters were staging sit-ins in the backdrop of appointing of Mohammed Allawi as a prime minister.

Iraqi President Barham Salih assigned Allawi on Saturday to form a government within a month.

Iraq has been roiled by mass protests since early October over poor living conditions and corruption, forcing Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi to resign.

More than 600 people have been killed and 17,000 injured in protests, according to an Iraqi human rights commission.


* Writing by Ali Abo Rezeg from Ankara.

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