Saturday July 4th, 2020 4:36PM

Officials: Iraq protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

BAGHDAD (AP) — Anti-government protesters burned down an Iranian consulate building in southern Iraq on Wednesday, while six protesters were killed by security forces who fired live rounds amid ongoing violence in the country, Iraqi officials said Wednesday.

Protesters torched the consulate in the holy city of Najaf in the evening. One protester was killed and at least 35 people were wounded when police fired live ammunition to prevent them from entering the building, a police official said.

The demonstrators removed the Iranian flag from the building and replaced it with an Iraqi one. Iranian staff were not harmed and escaped the building from the back door and authorities imposed a curfew in Najaf. The official spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.

The incident marked an escalation in the demonstrations that have raged in Baghdad and across the mostly Shiite southern Iraq since Oct. 1. The protesters accuse the Shiite-led government of being hopelessly corrupt and complain of poor public services and high unemployment. They are also decrying growing Iranian influence in Iraqi state affairs.

Protesters previously attacked the Iranian consulate in Karbala earlier this month, scaling concrete barriers running the building.

Security forces have fired bullets, tear gas and smoke bombs on a near daily basis since the unrest began. At least 350 people have been killed and thousands wounded in what has become the largest grassroots protest movement in Iraq’s modern history.

Two protesters were killed and 35 wounded when security forces fired live rounds to disperse them from Baghdad’s historic Rasheed Street, security and hospital officials said.

The street, which is adjacent to the strategic Ahrar Bridge, has been the focus of violence for a full week, with near daily incidents of deaths as a result of security forces using live ammunition and tear gas to keep demonstrators from advancing beyond a concrete barrier.

Protesters are occupying three key bridges in central Baghdad - Jumhuriya, Ahrar and Sinar - in a standoff with security forces. On Wednesday, they also burned tires on Ahrar Bridge to block security forces from accessing the area.

The burning of the Iranian consulate followed tense days in southern Iraq, where protesters have burned tires and cut access to main roads in several provinces.

In Karbala, four protesters were killed by live fire from security forces in the previous 24 hours.

Three of the anti-government protesters were killed when security forces fired live rounds to disperse crowds in the holy city of Karbala late Tuesday, security and medical officials said. One protester died of wounds suffered when a tear gas canister struck him in clashes earlier in the day.

Protesters have largely kept away from threatening Iraq’s economy, but in the southern city of Basra daily closures of the two main Gulf commodities port has caused disruptions to trade activity, a port official said.

Protesters continued to cut major roads to Umm Qasr and Khor al-Zubair ports on Wednesday, reducing trade activity by 50%, according to the port official who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to reporters.

Protesters also blocked roads leading to major oil fields in West Qurna and Rumaila. A senior oil ministry official said crude production was not impacted by the closures.

Three simultaneous explosions rocked Baghdad late Tuesday, killing five people and wounding more than a dozen, Iraqi officials said, in the first apparent coordinated attack since anti-government protests erupted. The bombings took place far from Baghdad’s Tahrir Square, the epicenter of weeks of anti-government protests that have posed the biggest security challenge to Iraq since the defeat of the Islamic State group.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP World News, AP Business, AP Business - Industries, AP Business - Utilities
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Myriad frustrations draw Colombians back onto streets
Colombians unhappy with President Iván Duque’s response to nearly a week of boisterous protests over everything from job losses to shark hunting quotas are taking to the streets again
3:08PM ( 4 minutes ago )
Officials: Iraq protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf
Anti-government protesters burned down the Iranian consulate building in southern Iraq, while six protesters were killed by security forces who fired live rounds amid ongoing violence
3:01PM ( 11 minutes ago )
Evacuation orders ended as rain douses California wildfire
A storm has almost fully doused a Southern California wildfire that threatened thousands of homes
2:57PM ( 15 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
3 injured as Texas plant explosion releases chemical plume
A chemical company says three people were injured in an explosion at its plant in East Texas that blew out windows and sent a chemical plume blowing over homes miles away
2:08PM ( 1 hour ago )
Study: For babies born with HIV, start treatment right away
When newborns are infected with HIV, a new study suggests starting treatment right away is better than waiting just a few weeks to months
2:04PM ( 1 hour ago )
In Lebanon, financial collapse and security concerns loom
Hundreds of Lebanese women have marched across a former front line in the Lebanese capital carrying white roses and Lebanese flags to denounce overnight clashes between rival groups that injured dozens of people
1:57PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
Stop! Washing your Thanksgiving turkey could spread germs
‘My grandmother taught me that:’ Food safety experts say not to wash Thanksgiving turkeys before cooking, even if relatives did
12:20PM ( 2 hours ago )
No more menthol cigarettes: New ban on tobacco, vape flavors
Massachusetts has become the first state with a permanent ban on the sale of flavored tobacco and vaping products, including menthol cigarettes
12:12PM ( 3 hours ago )
Utah set to become 19th state banning ‘conversion therapy’
Utah set to become 19th state banning ‘conversion therapy’
12:07PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Online National News
Pope taps former Bank of Italy exec to head watchdog agency
Pope Francis has tapped a former Bank of Italy executive to take over the Vatican’s financial intelligence unit following a scandal that resulted in the Vatican being suspended from an international anti-money laundering network
2:17PM ( 54 minutes ago )
Fed survey finds US economy expanding despite trade fallout
Fed survey finds economy expanding but manufacturers still dealing with trade war fallout
2:05PM ( 1 hour ago )
US stock indexes move higher, on track for more record highs
Stocks are moving broadly higher in afternoon trading Wednesday as investors welcome a batch of positive U.S. economic data
1:35PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Business
Iran supreme leader claims protests a US-backed ‘conspiracy’
Iran’s supreme leader is claiming without evidence that recent protests across the Islamic Republic over government-set gasoline prices rising were part of a “conspiracy” involving the U.S.
9:14AM ( 5 hours ago )
New ECB boss Lagarde adds her signature to euro banknotes
The new president of the European Central Bank has added her signature to euro banknotes, which she describes as “the most tangible symbol of European integration.”
7:01AM ( 8 hours ago )
From modest beginnings, Washington now a force in wine world
Washington has become a force in the wine industry
1:27AM ( 13 hours ago )
AP Business - Industries
Trump and Bulgarian leader discuss energy, NATO
President Donald Trump and the prime minister of Bulgaria on Monday discussed energy issues facing the central European nation heavily dependent on Russian energy
6:51PM ( 1 day ago )
Pope in Japan voices concern over nuke power, meets victims
Pope Francis has voiced concern about nuclear power after meeting with victims of Japan’s 2011 nuclear disaster, saying the development of future energy sources must take environmental considerations into account
7:37AM ( 2 days ago )
Pope in Japan meets victims, voices concern over nuke power
Pope Francis has voiced concern about nuclear power after meeting with victims of Japan’s 2011 nuclear disaster, saying the development of future energy sources must take environmental considerations into account
5:21AM ( 2 days ago )
AP Business - Utilities
Myriad frustrations draw Colombians back onto streets
Colombians unhappy with President Iván Duque’s response to nearly a week of boisterous protests over everything from job losses to shark hunting quotas are taking to the streets again
3:08PM ( 4 minutes ago )
Evacuation orders ended as rain douses California wildfire
A storm has almost fully doused a Southern California wildfire that threatened thousands of homes
2:57PM ( 15 minutes ago )
5 dead, 3 hurt in ‘devastating’ Minneapolis high-rise fire
Five people have died after a fire broke out on the 14th floor of a public housing high-rise in a heavily immigrant neighborhood of Minneapolis
2:50PM ( 22 minutes ago )
Winter storm threatens to scramble Thanksgiving travel plans
Powerful winter storm rolls in Midwest, threatens to scramble Thanksgiving travel plans
2:47PM ( 25 minutes ago )
Sticky impeachment trial questions: How long? Who testifies?
How a Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump would unfold is not yet known, but among the issues senators will have to decide are how long it lasts and whether witnesses are called
2:42PM ( 30 minutes ago )