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Sunday January 19th, 2020 11:52AM

The Latest: Iraqi protesters burn down Iranian consulate

By The Associated Press
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BAGHDAD (AP) — The Latest on anti-government demonstrations in Iraq (all times local):

10:25 p.m.

An Iraqi police official says anti-government protesters have burned down the Iranian consulate in southern Iraq. 

Protesters torched the Iranian consulate building in the holy city of Najaf, the seat of the country’s Shiite religious authority. Iranian staff working in the consulate escaped through the back door and were not harmed. 

Protesters took to the streets on Oct. 1 to decry rampant government corruption, poor services and rising Iranian influence in Iraqi state affairs. At least 350 people have died since the unrest started. 

By Murtada Faraj.

___

5:05 p.m.

Iraqi officials say six protesters have been killed amid ongoing violence with security forces firing live rounds and tear gas in Baghdad and southern Iraq.

Security and hospital officials say two protesters were killed Wednesday when security forces fired live rounds to disperse them from Baghdad’s historic Rasheed Street.

Officials said one protester also died in Karbala on Wednesday afternoon, raising the death toll in clashes in the province to four in the past 24 hours.

The officials requested anonymity in line with regulations.

Protesters also burned tires near Ahrar bridge, blocking security forces from accessing it. Demonstrators are occupying part of three strategic bridges - Ahrar, Jumhuriya and Sinak - in a standoff with security forces.

At least 350 protesters have died and thousands wounded in mass demonstrations since Oct. 1.

___

10:40

Iraqi officials say three anti-government protesters were killed and 35 wounded by security forces in southern Iraq amid ongoing violence.

Security and hospital officials said Wednesday that two of the protesters were killed the previous night. That’s when security forces fired live ammunition to disperse crowds in the holy city of Karbala.

One protester died of wounds suffered when a tear gas canister struck him in clashes earlier Tuesday.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.

Protesters have also cut roads to block traffic from Karbala to the capital, Baghdad.

At least 350 people have been killed and thousands wounded since Iraq’s protests started Oct. 1. Thousands of people have taken to the streets to decry government corruption, poor services and subpar jobs.

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