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Students join Iraq protests as violent deaths continue

Authorities have announced a curfew from midnight to 6am in Baghdad.

Students take part in anti-government protests in Baghdad (AP/Hadi Mizban)
Students take part in anti-government protests in Baghdad (AP/Hadi Mizban)

By Qassim Abdul-Zahra, Associated Press

At least two anti-government protesters have been killed and 105 injured in clashes with security forces in Baghdad.

The latest violence comes as thousands of students took to the streets in defiance of a government order and tear gas from security forces.

The students missed classes at several universities and secondary schools in Baghdad and across Iraq’s majority-Shiite south to take part in the protests, despite the government ordering schools and universities to operate normally.

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An injured protester is rushed to a hospital (AP/Hadi Mizban)

Authorities later announced a curfew from midnight to 6am in the capital, as renewed protests there and across the Shiite south raged for a fourth day.

The demonstrations are fuelled by anger at corruption, economic stagnation and poor public services.

“It’s a student revolution, no to the government, no to parties!” demonstrators chanted in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square, the epicentre of the protests.

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An anti-government protester prepares to throw a tear gas canister (AP/Hadi Mizban)

Protesters have camped out in the central roundabout and volunteers have brought them food, hoping to recreate the revolutionary atmosphere of similar rallies held across the region during and after the 2011 Arab Spring.

Security forces have fired tear gas and stun grenades to keep protesters from crossing a main bridge leading to the Green Zone, home to government offices and embassies.

At least 72 protesters have been killed since nationwide anti-government protests resumed on Friday, after 149 were killed during an earlier wave of protests this month.

PA

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