Iran makes reaction to attacks on Iranian consulate in Karbala

Iran makes reaction to attacks on Iranian consulate in Karbala

Prime Minister Adel Abdel-Mahdi promised reforms, but still civilians gathered in Baghdad's Tahrir Square waving Iraqi flags and chanting slogans demanding the resignation of the government.

A member of the security forces was also among those killed and least 34 people were wounded in the violence, according to government and medical spokespeople.

Most of those deaths took place during the first week of the demonstrations, when snipers shot on crowds from Baghdad rooftops.

The four deceased were participating in a rally in front of the Iranian consulate in the sacred city of Karbala.

It was the first time live ammunition was sacked at Baghdad demonstrators since protests resumed on October 24, following a period in which riot police had switched to use tear gas amid accusations of "excessive force".

The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq, Jeanine HennisPlasschaert stated: "This report also highlights areas where immediate action is needed to stop the vicious circle of violence, and stresses once again the imperative of accountability".

Security forces fired in the air to disperse the protesters who threw stones and burned tires around the building on a street corner in Karbala south of Baghdad.

Officials have stopped providing running casualty figures.

Amnesty International slammed Iraqi forces days ago for using two types of military-grade tear gas canisters that have pierced protesters' skulls and lungs.

Anger has been mounting in Iraq in recent years due to rising unemployment and rampant corruption.

He has since resisted intensifying calls for him to step down and for the political system to be overhauled, adopting a noticeably tougher stance towards the demonstrators.

In the southern cities of Kut, Nasiriyah and Diwaniyah, all government offices were closed on Tuesday. The demonstrations converged on the centrally located Tahrir Square.

Rights groups have also expressed worry over the detention of protesters, journalists and medics.

On Tuesday, he was in the northern city of Arbil to meet with Kurdish officials as part of talks to ease the crisis.

The first week of rallies ended with at least 157 people dead, a lot of them protesters shot dead in Baghdad, according to a government probe. "We came to pull down the Iranian flag and lift the Iraqi flag instead", said one protester in Kerbala who refused to be identified.

"Tyrants will go but the people will stay", added an elderly protester in a checkered keffiyah scarf.

Iraqi law enforcement said that they had "dealt" with a group of protesters who had set fire to a restaurant, after crossing a main bridge over the Tigris, according to a spokesman for the prime minister.

Netblocks said on Wednesday that Iraq "remains largely offline".

"The Islamic Republic of Iran has conveyed its concerns through political channels to the host government (Iraq), emphasized the need for protecting the security of our country's diplomatic and consular buildings in Iraq within the framework of global regulations and conventions, and called for the necessary action and intensified measures to protect our country's diplomatic missions in Iraq", he added.

As anti-government protests sweep his country, Iraq's embattled premier has found his decision-making powers clipped by rivals and his entourage subject to increasing pressure from Iran, Iraqi officials told AFP.

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