Security forces opened fire on protesters in Baghdad and southern Iraq, killing at least seven people and wounding dozens of others, police and medical sources said on Sunday, the latest violence in weeks of unrest in Baghdad and some southern cities.
In Nassiriya, security forces used live ammunition and tear gas canisters to disperse protesters who had gathered overnight on three bridges.
Police and health officials said three people were killed, and hospital sources said another person died later from bullets wounds to his head.
More than 50 others were wounded, mainly by live bullets and tear gas canisters, in clashes in the city, they added.
Two people were killed and over 70 wounded when security forces used live fire to disperse protesters near the country’s main Gulf port of Umm Qasr near Basra, police and medical sources said.
The protesters had gathered to demand security forces open roads around the port town. Authorities have blocked the roads to try to prevent protesters from reaching the port’s entrance.
Umm Qasr is Iraq’s largest commodities port, taking in grain, vegetable oils and sugar shipments that feed a country largely dependent on imported food.