"Shots of Darkness" kill Baghdad demonstrators ... Iranian militias fire live bullets on protesters
Violence returned again to the streets of the capital, Baghdad, on Friday, where at least 16 protesters were killed and dozens wounded by an attack by unknown gunmen.
This comes after the United States imposed sanctions on three leaders of the pro-Iranian factions, who are suspected of being involved in the security campaign against the demonstrators during the protests.
Eyewitnesses said that civilian cars of pro-Iranian militias were firing at protesters in al-Khilani Square in central Baghdad, while gunmen opened fire after controlling a building occupied by protesters for weeks, near the nearby Sinak Bridge, where electricity was cut off.
Activists said that the electricity was cut off from al-Khilani Square, before the gunmen began shooting towards the protesters.
The protesters accused the security forces of collaborating with the attackers, by allowing them to enter and leave freely in the area.
The attack came after protesters expressed fear about violence, after supporters of pro-Iranian factions landed on a march to Tahrir Square, the center of protests.
In turn, the Commission on Human Rights warned of the insecurity of the security situation in Baghdad, calling on the security forces to assume their responsibilities and restore security to the demonstration grounds.
In the city of Karbala to the south, clashes renewed between the security forces and the demonstrators, who tried to storm the local government building in the city center.
These confrontations resulted in suffocation of more than 30 demonstrators, as a result of the security forces using tear gas to disperse the demonstrators.
This attack comes after the demonstrators expressed their concern about violence, on Thursday, after supporters of pro-Iranian factions marched to Tahrir Square, the protest center in the center of the capital, in a show of strength.
Witnesses reported that ambulances transport wounded demonstrators to field hospitals in Tahrir Square, some of whom had a hand or a leg shot.
Since the protests began on the first of October, 440 people have been killed, most of them demonstrators, and about 20 thousand have been injured, according to an AFP count based on medical and police sources.
The United States imposed sanctions on three Iraqis, Qais al-Khazali, Laith al-Khazali and Hussein Aziz al-Lami, all of whom are leaders of pro-Iranian factions within the PMF.
And sanctions were imposed on politician Khamis Farhan Al-Khanjar Al-Issawi for corruption "at the expense of the Iraqi people."
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