Security Forces Kill 10 More Amidst Protests on Thursday

Iraqi protesters wearing Guy Fawkes masks gather for an anti-government demonstration in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square on Wednesday.—AFP

Iraqi protesters wearing Guy Fawkes masks gather for an anti-government demonstration in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square on Wednesday.—AFP

"Abdul Mahdi's position means more to him than the blood of Iraqis", said a tribal dignitary who was protesting in Baghdad on Friday.

Iraqi state television reported that explosives experts found a bomb under one of the city's bridges and carried out a controlled explosion.

According to a Human Rights Watch (HRW) report released on Friday, since 25 October at least 16 people have been killed by direct hits from tear gas canisters. Tear gas filled the air as protesters used slingshots to hurl stones at security forces.

Sistani held security forces accountable for any violent escalation and urged the government to respond as quickly as possible to demonstrators' demands. Security forces began using live gunfire to disperse demonstrations nearly immediately, and have killed more than 260 people, according to police and medics.

Police and medical sources said on November 7 that dozens of other people were wounded in clashes as protesters stepped up efforts to force the entrenched political elite to step down.

Police, the military and paramilitary groups have used live gunfire against mostly unarmed protesters since the beginning of the unrest.

"We sacrificed the blood of our tribe's sons", said one tribe member who had travelled from the southern city of Nasiriyah. "They must avoid using excessive force with peaceful protesters".

"I'm the mother of a student".

Amnesty International said in its updated report that Iraqi security forces were not only using live ammunition but "military-grade tear gas grenades which can shatter skulls when fired at close range".

Stipends for the poor, more job opportunities for graduates and pledges to punish a handful of corrupt officials have come too late for those demanding an overhaul of state institutions, a flawed electoral process and system of governance that has fueled endemic corruption, many Iraqis say.

The Iranian regime has reportedly drawn up a three-pronged plan in co-ordination with armed factions and militias in Iraq.

In this context, Sayyed Sistani's representative warned that some foreign and local sides are exploiting the protests in Iraq, stressing that the protests should abide by peacefulness.

Late yesterday, the military said 17 rockets had landed near a base hosting U.S. forces in northern Iraq. The statement did not say who was believed to be behind the attack, but added that there were no injuries or major damage.

A crackdown by authorities against mostly unarmed protesters has killed more than 260 people since unrest broke out on October 1 over lack of jobs, poor prospects and corruption.

The United States blamed Iran-backed militia for rocket attacks on other bases in May this year, but USA forces are also involved in a fight against Islamic State militants.

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