In iraq, new protests against corruption and mismanagement have escalated into violence. 42 people died on friday, according to the state human rights commission.
More than 2,300 people were also injured. Protesters in the capital city of baghdad, among other places, had tried to enter the specially protected green zone, where many government facilities and embassies are located. Security forces used tear gas, live ammunition and rubber bullets to deal with the situation.
Eight people died in baghdad alone, according to the human rights commission. This is also where most of the demonstrators were injured, with almost 1,500, faisal abdullah of the human rights commission told the german press agency. According to the report, the remaining people died in the provinces of maisan, dhi kar and al-muthanna, which are located in sudirak.
Earlier this month, nearly 150 civilians were killed in days of protests in baghdad and other regions of the country. A government report later said that most of them had been killed by bullets to the head or chest.
The protests, mainly by young men, are directed against corruption and mismanagement in the war-torn country. Also on friday, demonstrators demanded the overthrow of the government and the dissolution of parliament. According to the human rights commission, about 50 government buildings and party offices were attacked and rounded up across the country.
Iraq’s grobajatollah ali al-sistani called on both sides to show restraint. Security forces should treat protesters "kindly" as they "demand their right to a decent life," a friday sermon read out by the influential cleric.
Baghdad was not the only arab capital to experience protests on friday. Protests also continued for the ninth day in a row in the lebanese capital of beirut. Many roads were closed, schools, banks and numerous businesses remained closed. There were clashes with the police.
Demonstrators in lebanon demand the resignation of the government and the removal of corrupt politicians. A speech by president michel aoun on thursday failed to calm the protests. The small country on the mediterranean sea has been experiencing a severe economic crisis for months now.
Demonstrations against the country’s leadership also erupted again on friday in the algerian capital of algiers. In april, long-time president abdelaziz bouteflika resigned after weeks of protests. Announced new elections had been postponed afterwards however. Since then there have been protests every week. Videos in the social networks showed hundreds of people in the streets of algiers demonstrating. Security forces sealed off the access to a central square in the city center.