Clashes in central Baghdad … hunting rifles appear again.
Clashes resumed in the Khilani Square, in the Iraqi capitals’ center, Baghdad, between security forces and a number of demonstrators, according to eyewitnesses. They said that several protesters were injured as a result of hunting weapons use by security forces to disperse the demonstrators.
While a protester reported that the Baghdad Health Department issued orders to private and government hospitals to prevent receiving any wounded demonstrators.
On the other hand, the Baghdad Operations Command announced that the security forces were exposed to direct fire from inside the demonstration in Al-Khilani Square. It said in a statement, according to the Iraqi News Agency, that “our security forces in al-Khilani Square were exposed on Friday morning to direct fire from inside the demonstration, which led to the injury of a number of them, as they were taken to hospital.”
It also called “the demonstrators to determine who carried out the shooting in order to maintain the demonstrations’ peacefulness,” pointing out that the use of firearms and shooting is against the demonstrations’ peaceful character.
It is noteworthy that Al-Khulani and Tahrir Square in Baghdad have witnessed, over the past weeks, frequent attacks on demonstrators, with hunting rifles and tear gas canisters. The demonstrators accused the security forces of these attacks, in addition to unidentified masked men, and elements headed by the Sadrist movement.
The demonstrations that started on October 1st, witnessed several stations, characterized by violence, which led to the killing of hundreds of demonstrators.
In previous statement, Ali al-Bayati, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights’ spokesperson, explained that since the start of the Iraqi demonstrations, more than 550 people have been killed.
This comes in light of the political crisis in Iraq, after the failure of the parliament for the third time last Sunday to vote on the government of President-designate Muhammad Allawi, due to the lack of a quorum, which prompted him to announce his apology for the governments’ formation, which has been stalled for more than two months after the resignation of the Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi.
Allawi commissioned the man who held two ministerial posts in the past to form the government following pressure from political parties, without taking into account the demonstrators’ opinion who rejected him.
For months, the protesters have been calling for an independent figure who previously did not hold a political position to form a government, and they also adhere to the demand for early parliamentary elections and the cessation of party quotas.