Iraq’s Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi has shortly declared a state of emergency and imposed curfew in Baghdad from 6 am on Thursday.
Five Protesters were killed and more than 200 others were injured on Wednesday during the wave of Iraq protests that started yesterday in a number of cities, including Baghdad, Basra, Najaf, Diyala and Kirkuk.
Protesters are still blocking the main road to Baghdad airport.
Some protesters are posting on Facebook that they are blocking the road to airport to prevent any official from fleeing.
International and local support
US Department of State has shortly announced that they are closely following up the development of demonstrations in Iraq, and calling on all parties in Iraq to stop the tension
Meanwhile, Iraqi National Security Council confirmed the right of citizens to express their demands, rejecting using acts of sabotage.
It added that all government efforts will be harnessed to meet demonstrators’ demands
On the other hand, Iraqi government sources announced that all Iraqi forces are on high alert to counter the growing number of protesters using live bullets and tear gas to disperse demonstrators in Baghdad.
Hundreds of anti-riot forces deployed in Tahrir Square and main roads to prevent large protests.
Despite the massive security measures, hundreds of protesters continued to take to the streets, and set fire to tires and garbage containers, in addition to attempting to storm the local government building in Najaf City.
Iraq is now facing a new period of political instability that led the deterioration of economic and social conditions
Demands of Protesters
The protests, organized on social media, started in Tahrir Square on Tuesday, initially driven by economy woes. They began peacefully, calling for an end to corruption, improved basic services and more jobs. But they soon turned violent after security forces fought back demonstrators with water cannons, tear gas and live ammunition.
The protests appear to be spontaneous and without political leadership, organized by people on social media against corruption and lack of basic services, such as electricity and water.