Iraq anti-government protests leave over 60 dead

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Al-Thawra Net

At least 60 people have died over four days of bloody protests across Iraq, the Iraqi Human Rights Commission said late Friday.

According to AFP, the figures include 18 deaths recorded in one hospital in the capital, Baghdad. The commission did not specify the number of civilians or security forces amongst the dead.

With more than 1,600 people injured, the number of people killed in demonstrations is likely to increase.

Mustafa Saadoun, director of the Iraqi Observatory for Human Rights, said earlier on Friday that the death toll in Iraq demonstrations had risen to 50 and the total number of wounded to 1,936.

The number of detainees reached 454, while the number of those released was 287, he added.

Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi announced earlier that he had agreed with the Judicial Council to release detainees who had not committed any criminal offences.

The Prime Minister warned that some of the slogans raised revealed an attempt to hijack the protests and waste their legitimate demands.

Baghdad and southern Iraqi provinces are witnessing mass demonstrations calling for the overthrow of the government, improve services and the fight against corruption.

According to political analysts, the main reason for the current movement in Iraq is the frustration of young people as the government has failed to keep on its promises to make radical changes in the lives of Iraqis.

There are some concerns, however, that the protests are being hijacked by imperialist forces, much like what happened in the Arab Spring of 2011. Vocal support by some in the US, Saudi Arabia and Israel to the protests have added to the suspicion.