Iraqi security forces clashed with anti-government protesters in the early hours of yesterday near the capital’s Tahrir Square, leaving one demonstrator dead and dozens more wounded, medical sources said.
Baghdad’s overnight violence was centred on two bridges linking Tahrir to the western bank of the Tigris, where most government buildings and foreign embassies including the US and Iranian missions are located.
Riot police deployed along the bridges fired tear gas to keep back protesters, who have dug in to their positions with their own barricade.
The protests have evolved since October 1 from rage over corruption and unemployment into a wholesale condemnation of political and religious class and demands for “the downfall of the regime”.
Protesters have occupied Tahrir square for more than a week, apparently unimpressed by the government’s proposals, including of early elections and a new premier.