Stray bullets and tear gas canisters have killed three protesters in the Iraqi capital. In the high-security Green Zone, at least two rockets have landed near the US Embassy, according to police sources.
Iraqi security forces fired tear gas and live ammunition as protesters vented their anger toward the government late on Monday night and into Tuesday morning, with three killed in the clashes in Baghdad.
Numerous others were injured during the unrest. The violent confrontations in the Iraqi capital led to several parts of the city being closed off by authorities.
Tear gas and live rounds were used to disperse crowds near Sinak Bridge and Tayaran Square, medical and security officials confirmed.
A gunshot wound killed one protester, while a second died after being hit in the head by a tear gas canister, medics said. A third later succumbed to his injuries.
Journalist Yousif Sattar, 21, who was covering the protest movement, was among the fatalities.
The brutal scenes were a return to the civil unrest that began in October. There had been a brief hiatus as tensions increased between the United States and Iran following a US airstrike that killed General Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad in early January.
Blasts near Baghdad’s Green Zone
Meanwhile, at least two rockets caused explosions near the US Embassy in Baghdad’s high-security Green Zone, according to security sources and nearby witnesses.
Sirens could be heard across the area immediately after but there were no immediate reports of casualties.
There has been a recent spate of similar attacks in and around the fortified Green Zone, particularly since the assassination of Soleimani at Baghdad International Airport.
As with the other incidents, the perpetrators were not known.
jsi/cmk (Reuters, AFP, AP)