Iraqi protesters attack Iran’s consulate, 4 killed & over a dozen injured as police try to stop mayhem

4 Nov, 2019 08:54 / Updated 1 week ago
Up to four protesters have been killed and at least 19 injured by Iraqi security forces when they dispersed a violent protest near Iran’s consulate in the Shia holy city of Karbala on Sunday, according to local medics and police.

Dozens of Iraqi protesters attacked the consulate, scaling the walls of the building, taking down an Iranian flag and replacing it with an Iraqi one.

Footage from the scene shows protesters burning tires and throwing Molotov cocktails around the building. According to reports, police fired live ammunition in an attempt to disperse the crowds. Protesters can be seen showing empty bullet casings in the video.

The local forensic medicine department confirmed to AFP that four protesters died after being shot. Police confirmed three people were killed and 19 protesters injured, while seven policemen were also hurt.

The attack on the consulate comes days after powerful Iraqi Shiite cleric Ali Sistani said Iraq must not be influenced by any “regional or international actor,” which many heard as a reference to Iran.

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Nationwide protests against the government began in October with a range of complaints about corruption, lack of basic services, and unemployment, later expanding into demands for the resignation of Iraqi political leadership.

The latest incident at the consulate is not the first time the city of Karbala has been the scene of street battles in the ongoing wave of protests. On October 28, at least 14 protesters were killed and more than 100 injured in clashes during an anti-government demonstration.

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