A general view of Tahrir square as demonstrators take part during the ongoing anti-govt protests in Baghdad on Tuesday. Ahmed Jadallah/ Reuters
Two more Iraqi protesters have been killed in renewed clashes in the Shiite holy city of Karbala, a flashpoint in weeks of anti-government demonstrations, a protester and a medic said Wednesday.
They said the two were killed in overnight clashes near the provincial headquarters in the city. They spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of repercussions.
Karbala declares three-day mourning after stampede
Tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets in recent weeks in the capital, Baghdad, and across the Shiite south, demanding sweeping political change. The protesters complain of widespread corruption, a lack of job opportunities and poor basic services, with regular power cuts despite the country's vast oil reserves.
The protesters have focused their anger on Shiite political parties and militias, many of which have close ties to Iran . Across the south, they have attacked party and militia headquarters, setting some of them ablaze.
In Karbala, protesters attacked the Iranian Consulate earlier this week, hurling firebombs over its walls. Security forces killed at least three people and wounded several others as they dispersed the protest. Days earlier, masked men suspected of links to the security forces opened fire on a demonstration in Karbala, killing at least 18 people.
Iraqi security forces opened fire on Wednesday to disperse protesters gathered on a bridge in central Baghdad, shooting live bullets in the air, a witness said. There appeared to be no casualties.
Protesters had blocked the Shuhada bridge since Tuesday afternoon as part of efforts to bring the country to a standstill, with thousands continuing to partake in anti-government demonstrations in the capital and southern provinces
Security forces shot dead at least 13 protesters in the 24 hours to late on Tuesday, dispensing with weeks of relative restraint in favour of trying to stamp out dissent.
In the southern oil-rich province of Basra, security forces forcibly dispersed a sit-in overnight but there were no deaths reported, security sources said. Protesters had camped out in front the provincial government building.
The US embassy in Baghdad on Wednesday condemned the deadly violence against unarmed demonstrators, and urged Iraq's leaders to engage urgently with the thousands who have been protesting.
“We deplore the killing and kidnapping (of) unarmed protesters, threats to freedom of expression, and the cycle of violence taking place. Iraqis must be free to make their own choices about the future of the nation,” it said in a statement.
Separately, a Katyusha rocket landed near the fortified Green Zone, Iraq’s seat of government, police officials said. There were no casualties from the incident. Last week two rockets landed in Tigris river and a stadium, both near the Green Zone.
The biggest turnout was in Myanmar's second city, Mandalay, where activists staged a sit-in protest after two minutes of silence in honour of people killed by police and the army, video showed.
Medical workers, some of whom have been at the forefront of the campaign against the coup, gathered in the second city of Mandalay early but troops soon arrived to disperse them, opening fire and detained some people, the Mizzima news agency said.
Sources familiar with the details of the accident said that it occurred on Monday afternoon, as a result of a malfunction in the bus's brakes, which led it to collide with a bridge, according to local media.
Mariam Al Kaabi, UAE Ambassador to the Arab Republic of Egypt and Permanent Representative of the UAE to the Arab League, represented the UAE during the signing ceremony.
They prayed to Allah Almighty to perpetuate the blessings of security and stability, and to revisit the fasting month with more goodness, progress, and prosperity for the UAE and its people.
Sheikh Mohammed said on Twitter, “Today, I was briefed, accompanied by my brother, the President of the State, may God preserve him, on the ongoing preparations in the country to host the COP28 Conference of the Parties, in which 70,000 people from 198 countries are expected to participate. Our national team is ready. Protect the planet.”