Four Iraqi protesters shot dead by security forces


At least four protesters have been shot dead in Iraq after security forces open fire in central Baghdad on Thursday, police and medical sources said.

35 people were also injured in another clash near Shuhada Bridge, as the protests enter the 13th day with thousands crowding central areas of the capital.

Demonstrations in southern Iraq saw anti-government protesters burning tyres and blocking the entrance to the port of Umm Qasr.

According to port authorities, protesters are also preventing trucks from transporting vital food imports, just hours after operations had resumed.

Over 250 people have been killed as authorities crack down on mostly unarmed protesters since the unrest broke out on October 1 in Baghdad and quickly spread to southern cities.

Protesters lament lack of jobs, services and an infrastructure wrecked by decades of conflict, sanctions and corruption.

The demonstrators, mostly unemployed youths, blame a political elite that has ruled Iraq since the toppling of dictator Saddam Hussein in a 2003 U.S.-led invasion. They are demanding a complete overhaul of the political system.

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