Hundreds of anti-government protesters took to the streets of southern Baghdad on Wednesday for a second day as the army deployed forces around the city following clashes with civilians.
“A peaceful demonstration began on Wednesday morning in Zaafaaraniya area in southeast of Baghdad,” the Iraqi news agency said, a day after security forces fired warning shots and used tear gas to disperse thousands of angry protesters.
The clashes were some of the most violent in the Iraqi capital in more than a year, signalling that the country could be facing a new round of political instability.
Two people were killed and more than 200 wounded in the unrest, including 160 civilians, the health ministry said. It did not provide further details.
As well as the capital, protests spread to several Iraqi provinces and cities including Najaf, Basra, Nasiriyah and Diwaniyah.
Those that took to the streets included hundreds of fresh university graduates who are unable to find jobs in the corruption-plagued but oil-rich country.