An indefinite curfew came into effect early Thursday in Iraq's capital after two days of chaotic protests across the country. Iraqi premier Adel Abdel Mahdi ordered the ban on movements across Baghdad to stem the popular demonstrations over widespread unemployment and state corruption.
Since erupting in Baghdad on Tuesday, the protests have spread to other cities in the country's south. Riot police in the capital have used water cannons, tear gas, rubber bullets and live rounds in an attempt to disperse protesters from the central Tahrir Square and other areas.
Nine people including a police officer have so far been killed, most of them in Nasiriyah and more than 400 people have been wounded, according to health authorities.
The protests appear to be largely spontaneous so far, with angry crowds carrying Iraqi flags and shunning any involvement by the country's main political players.
The protests follow months of simmering frustration over rampant power cuts, water shortages, and state corruption.