Oct 6, 2019

At least 104 Iraqis killed, 6,000 injured in week of unrest

An Iraqi demonstrator. Photo by Ahmad Al-Rubaye/AFP/Getty Images

At least 104 Iraqis have been killed and more than 6,000 have been wounded in less than a week of political unrest, Interior Ministry spokesperson Maj. Gen. Saad Maan said on state TV on Sunday, according to Reuters.

Why it matters: Protesters have been demonstrating against governmental corruption, unemployment and a lack of basic services, and they have called on Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi to step down. The government has responded by restricting access to the internet, imposing a curfew and deploying security forces that have fired on demonstrators.

Details: Maan said 8 members of the Iraqi security forces were among those killed and 51 public buildings and 8 political party headquarters had been torched by protesters, per Reuters.

  • At least 18 people were killed in clashes in Baghdad between police and anti-government protestors on Saturday night. Iraqi security forces first opened fire on protesters on Oct. 3.

Context: Iraq currently has a 25% youth unemployment rate, despite the government’s increased oil revenues and an end to the war against the Islamic State.

  • Demonstrators believe that not enough money is being invested in jobs programs or improving services.

The big picture: Iraq's parliament is at risk of collapsing. The leaders of 2 large political parties have criticized the government and called for reform. One leader called for his bloc to stop participating in parliament and for the government to resign.

Go deeper ... NYT: Deaths mount as protests catch Iraqi government off guard

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Iraqi police kill at least 42 protesters amid renewed demonstrations

Iraqi protesters gather on the capital Baghdad's Al-Jumhuriyah Bridge. Photo: AFP/Getty Images

Iraqi police killed at least 42 protesters as of Saturday in Baghdad — just three weeks after the first set of deadly protests left about 150 people dead across the country, Al Jazeera reports.

Why it matters: The unrest has ended roughly two years of stability in Iraq. Early October protests were paused after violence against protesters grew, but demonstrators returned to the streets this week, again calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi, per Al Jazeera.

Go deeperArrowOct 26, 2019

Iraqi prime minister to resign after weeks of deadly protests

Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Photo: Thomas Koehler /Contributor/Getty Images

Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi has agreed to resign amid anti-government protests that have resulted more than 200 dead, reports Bloomberg.

Why it matters: Demonstrations over the past month have rocked the country, which had been in a state of relative stability for the past two years. Protestors have demanded Abdul-Mahdi to step down and called for a broad overhaul of the government, condemning unemployment, violence and corruption throughout the country.

Go deeperArrowOct 31, 2019

The unstable future of Iraq’s leadership

One of the most remarkable — and telling — parts of Iraqi President Barham Salih's interview with "Axios on HBO" was when he refused to predict whether Iraq’s prime minister, Adel Abdul-Mahdi, would still be in office in a week.

Go deeperArrowOct 27, 2019