Iraq death toll soars to 100 in anti-govt protests

In Iraq, the number of dead in anti-government protests has reached nearly 100. According to AFP news agency, the country’s parliamentary human rights commission said at least 93 people have been killed and nearly 4,000 wounded, as protests spread to cities across the south.

Meanwhile, chief Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr demanded the resignation of Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi.

Spontaneous protests erupted on Tuesday amid frustration over Iraq’s high youth unemployment rate, its dire public services and chronic corruption.

Prime Minister Mahdi said protesters’ legitimate demands had been heard but appealed for calm. Despite his plea for patience, hundreds of Iraqis continued to throng the streets yesterday. An indefinite curfew imposed by authorities in the capital, as well as an internet blackout, also failed to prevent protesters from gathering.

According to Reuters news agency, security forces were seen firing live rounds at protesters trying to reach Tahrir Square Baghdad where much of the unrest has been focused. However, the authorities lifted a daytime curfew in the capital, Baghdad early today.