14 killed in Kerbala firing on protesters

14 killed in Kerbala firing on protesters


At least 14 people were killed and 865 wounded overnight after Iraqi security forces opened fire on protesters in the Shi'ite holy city of Kerbala, medical and security sources said.

Three protesters died in the southern city of Nassiriya from wounds sustained in earlier protests, medical sources said. Iraqis took to the streets for a fourth day on Monday in a second wave of protests against the Prime Minister, Mr.  Adel Abdul Mahdi's government and political elite they say are corrupt and out of touch.

The total death toll since the unrest started on October 1 is now at least 250 people. The unrest, driven by discontent over economic hardship and deep-seated corruption, has broken nearly two years of relative stability in Iraq, which from 2003 to 2017 endured a foreign occupation, civil war and an Islamic State insurgency.

Security forces fired tear gas at school and university students on Monday who defied a warning from Mr. Mahdi and joined thousands in Baghdad protesting against his government. Soldiers were seen beating high school students with batons in two Baghdad districts.