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Over 70 killed in anti-government protests in Iraq

Over 70 people have been killed, majority of whom are civilians, and more than 3,000 wounded since anti-government protests erupted in Iraq, an independent rights group said on Saturday.

A member of the High Commission for Human Rights, Ali al-Bayati said At least six policemen are among those killed.

Since Tuesday, thousands have taken to the streets in Iraq’s capital, Baghdad, and several provinces to protest against corruption, lack of job opportunities and poor services – in particular access to electricity and clean water.

Protests were met with tear gas and gunshots from security forces, followed by a 24-hour curfew in the capital and other provinces.

The protests, which have been largely led by young people, come one year after Prime Minister Adel Abdel-Mahdi took office, posing a new challenge to the country, which is still grappling with a lengthy campaign against the Islamic State extremist group.

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