Saturday, 26 February 2011
Baghdad, Iraq - Demonstrators clash with anti- riot police in attempt to reach government offices and US embassy. 15 dead
BAGHDAD (AFP) – Security forces used water cannons and tear gas to disperse thousands of angry protesters in Baghdad on Friday as a "Day of Rage" across Iraq left 15 demonstrators dead in clashes with police.
Around 5,000 people thronged Baghdad's Tahrir Square, with angry crowds throwing stones, shoes and plastic bottles at riot police and soldiers blocking off a bridge connecting the site to Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone, home to the US embassy and parliament.
The protest was the biggest of at least 17 separate demonstrations across the country, some sparking clashes in which more than 130 people were wounded, according to an AFP tally based on accounts by officials.
Four government buildings were also set ablaze and one provincial governor resigned.
By evening, most of the crowd in Baghdad had left and security forces refused to allow anyone to enter the area surrounding the square.
25.02.2011 - peopledaily - Late on Thursday, Baghdad operation command, responsible for security in the capital, imposed traffic ban on all kinds of vehicles, motorcycles and bikes until further notice as part of the security measures for fear of chaos during Friday's demonstrations.
The demonstration is part of nation-wide protests called by Iraqi groups on the social networking website Facebook to be held on Feb. 25, asking Iraqis to hold what they named "Revolution of Iraqi Rage," or "Day of Rage," across the country, in a move widely seen inspired by the protests in Tunisia and Egypt.
Recently, several thousand of Iraqis sporadically took to the streets in several provinces across the country, protesting unemployment and a sharp rise in the prices of food staples, as well as demanding better public services.
Posted by sysiphus at 09:54