Anti-government protesters in Iraq stormed a fourth bridge Wednesday in central Baghdad, where security forces pushed them back with batons and tear gas, wounding dozens, and a medic was killed near another bridge while aiding demonstrators.
The military called on the protesters to stop blocking roads and ports, saying they had cost Iraq $6 billion, and it vowed to arrest those responsible. The U.S. Embassy urged the government to "engage seriously and urgently" with the demonstrators and condemned attacks on them.
Tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets in recent weeks in the capital and across the Shiite south to demand sweeping political change. The protesters complain of widespread corruption, a lack of job opportunities and poor basic services, including regular power cuts despite Iraq's vast oil reserves.