Mass Protests Highlight Miserable Situation in Iraq

Published October 3rd, 2019 - 06:13 GMT

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.
 

View as a slider
View as a list
An Iraqi protester flashes the v-sign during a demonstration against state corruption, failing public services and unemployment in the Baladiyat district of the capital Baghdad on October 2, 2019. Iraq's president and the United Nations urged security forces to show restraint after two protesters were killed in clashes with police that other top officials blamed on "infiltrators." AHMAD AL-RUBAYE / AFP

An Iraqi protester flashes the v-sign during a demonstration against state corruption, failing public services and unemployment in the Baladiyat district of the capital Baghdad on October 2, 2019. Iraq's president and the United Nations urged security forces to show restraint after two protesters were killed in clashes with police that other top officials blamed on "infiltrators." AHMAD AL-RUBAYE / AFP

Iraqi riot police stand guard as protestors take part in a demonstration against state corruption, failing public services and unemployment, on October 2, 2019 in the southern city of Basra. Popular protests multiplied across Iraq today as thousands of demonstrators braved live fire and tear gas in rallies that have left seven dead in the past 24 hours. Hussein FALEH / AFP

Iraqi riot police stand guard as protestors take part in a demonstration against state corruption, failing public services and unemployment, on October 2, 2019 in the southern city of Basra. Popular protests multiplied across Iraq today as thousands of demonstrators braved live fire and tear gas in rallies that have left seven dead in the past 24 hours. Hussein FALEH / AFP

Iraqi protesters chant slogans during a demonstration against state corruption, failing public services and unemployment at Tayaran square in Baghdad on October 2, 2019. Iraq's president and the United Nations urged security forces to show restraint after two protesters were killed in clashes with police that other top officials blamed on "infiltrators." AHMAD AL-RUBAYE / AFP

Iraqi protesters chant slogans during a demonstration against state corruption, failing public services and unemployment at Tayaran square in Baghdad on October 2, 2019. Iraq's president and the United Nations urged security forces to show restraint after two protesters were killed in clashes with police that other top officials blamed on "infiltrators." AHMAD AL-RUBAYE / AFP

An Iraqi protestor wounded in war shouts slogans during a demonstration against state corruption, failing public services and unemployment, on October 2, 2019 in the southern city of Basra. Popular protests multiplied across Iraq today as thousands of demonstrators braved live fire and tear gas in rallies that have left seven dead in the past 24 hours. Hussein FALEH / AFP

An Iraqi protestor wounded in war shouts slogans during a demonstration against state corruption, failing public services and unemployment, on October 2, 2019 in the southern city of Basra. Popular protests multiplied across Iraq today as thousands of demonstrators braved live fire and tear gas in rallies that have left seven dead in the past 24 hours. Hussein FALEH / AFP

An Iraqi protester displays bullet casings during a demonstration against state corruption, failing public services and unemployment at Tayaran square in Baghdad on October 2, 2019. Iraq's president and the United Nations urged security forces to show restraint after two protesters were killed in clashes with police that other top officials blamed on "infiltrators." AHMAD AL-RUBAYE / AFP

An Iraqi protester displays bullet casings during a demonstration against state corruption, failing public services and unemployment at Tayaran square in Baghdad on October 2, 2019. Iraq's president and the United Nations urged security forces to show restraint after two protesters were killed in clashes with police that other top officials blamed on "infiltrators." AHMAD AL-RUBAYE / AFP

Iraqi protesters gather during a demonstration against state corruption, failing public services and unemployment at Tayaran square in Baghdad on October 2, 2019. Iraq's president and the United Nations urged security forces to show restraint after two protesters were killed in clashes with police that other top officials blamed on "infiltrators." AHMAD AL-RUBAYE / AFP

Iraqi protesters gather during a demonstration against state corruption, failing public services and unemployment at Tayaran square in Baghdad on October 2, 2019. Iraq's president and the United Nations urged security forces to show restraint after two protesters were killed in clashes with police that other top officials blamed on "infiltrators." AHMAD AL-RUBAYE / AFP

An Iraqi protester gestures the v-sign during a demonstration against state corruption, failing public services and unemployment at Tayaran square in Baghdad on October 2, 2019. Iraq's president and the United Nations urged security forces to show restraint after two protesters were killed in clashes with police that other top officials blamed on "infiltrators." AHMAD AL-RUBAYE / AFP

An Iraqi protester gestures the v-sign during a demonstration against state corruption, failing public services and unemployment at Tayaran square in Baghdad on October 2, 2019. Iraq's president and the United Nations urged security forces to show restraint after two protesters were killed in clashes with police that other top officials blamed on "infiltrators." AHMAD AL-RUBAYE / AFP

An Iraqi protester waves an Iraqi Hezbollah flag during a demonstration against state corruption, failing public services and unemployment in the Baladiyat district of the capital Baghdad on October 2, 2019. Iraq's president and the United Nations urged security forces to show restraint after two protesters were killed in clashes with police that other top officials blamed on "infiltrators." AHMAD AL-RUBAYE / AFP

An Iraqi protester waves an Iraqi Hezbollah flag during a demonstration against state corruption, failing public services and unemployment in the Baladiyat district of the capital Baghdad on October 2, 2019. Iraq's president and the United Nations urged security forces to show restraint after two protesters were killed in clashes with police that other top officials blamed on "infiltrators." AHMAD AL-RUBAYE / AFP

A topless masked protester flashes the victory gesture as he waves an Iraqi national flag before a burning building during a demonstration against state corruption and poor services, between the capital Baghdad's Tahrir Square and the high-security Green Zone district, on October 1, 2019.  AHMAD AL-RUBAYE / AFP

A topless masked protester flashes the victory gesture as he waves an Iraqi national flag before a burning building during a demonstration against state corruption and poor services, between the capital Baghdad's Tahrir Square and the high-security Green Zone district, on October 1, 2019. AHMAD AL-RUBAYE / AFP

An Iraqi protester flashes the v-sign during a demonstration against state corruption, failing public services and unemployment in the Baladiyat district of the capital Baghdad on October 2, 2019. Iraq's president and the United Nations urged security forces to show restraint after two protesters were killed in clashes with police that other top officials blamed on "infiltrators." AHMAD AL-RUBAYE / AFP
Iraqi riot police stand guard as protestors take part in a demonstration against state corruption, failing public services and unemployment, on October 2, 2019 in the southern city of Basra. Popular protests multiplied across Iraq today as thousands of demonstrators braved live fire and tear gas in rallies that have left seven dead in the past 24 hours. Hussein FALEH / AFP
Iraqi protesters chant slogans during a demonstration against state corruption, failing public services and unemployment at Tayaran square in Baghdad on October 2, 2019. Iraq's president and the United Nations urged security forces to show restraint after two protesters were killed in clashes with police that other top officials blamed on "infiltrators." AHMAD AL-RUBAYE / AFP
An Iraqi protestor wounded in war shouts slogans during a demonstration against state corruption, failing public services and unemployment, on October 2, 2019 in the southern city of Basra. Popular protests multiplied across Iraq today as thousands of demonstrators braved live fire and tear gas in rallies that have left seven dead in the past 24 hours. Hussein FALEH / AFP
An Iraqi protester displays bullet casings during a demonstration against state corruption, failing public services and unemployment at Tayaran square in Baghdad on October 2, 2019. Iraq's president and the United Nations urged security forces to show restraint after two protesters were killed in clashes with police that other top officials blamed on "infiltrators." AHMAD AL-RUBAYE / AFP
Iraqi protesters gather during a demonstration against state corruption, failing public services and unemployment at Tayaran square in Baghdad on October 2, 2019. Iraq's president and the United Nations urged security forces to show restraint after two protesters were killed in clashes with police that other top officials blamed on "infiltrators." AHMAD AL-RUBAYE / AFP
An Iraqi protester gestures the v-sign during a demonstration against state corruption, failing public services and unemployment at Tayaran square in Baghdad on October 2, 2019. Iraq's president and the United Nations urged security forces to show restraint after two protesters were killed in clashes with police that other top officials blamed on "infiltrators." AHMAD AL-RUBAYE / AFP
An Iraqi protester waves an Iraqi Hezbollah flag during a demonstration against state corruption, failing public services and unemployment in the Baladiyat district of the capital Baghdad on October 2, 2019. Iraq's president and the United Nations urged security forces to show restraint after two protesters were killed in clashes with police that other top officials blamed on "infiltrators." AHMAD AL-RUBAYE / AFP
A topless masked protester flashes the victory gesture as he waves an Iraqi national flag before a burning building during a demonstration against state corruption and poor services, between the capital Baghdad's Tahrir Square and the high-security Green Zone district, on October 1, 2019.  AHMAD AL-RUBAYE / AFP
An Iraqi protester flashes the v-sign during a demonstration against state corruption, failing public services and unemployment in the Baladiyat district of the capital Baghdad on October 2, 2019. Iraq's president and the United Nations urged security forces to show restraint after two protesters were killed in clashes with police that other top officials blamed on "infiltrators." AHMAD AL-RUBAYE / AFP
An Iraqi protester flashes the v-sign during a demonstration against state corruption, failing public services and unemployment in the Baladiyat district of the capital Baghdad on October 2, 2019. Iraq's president and the United Nations urged security forces to show restraint after two protesters were killed in clashes with police that other top officials blamed on "infiltrators." AHMAD AL-RUBAYE / AFP
Iraqi riot police stand guard as protestors take part in a demonstration against state corruption, failing public services and unemployment, on October 2, 2019 in the southern city of Basra. Popular protests multiplied across Iraq today as thousands of demonstrators braved live fire and tear gas in rallies that have left seven dead in the past 24 hours. Hussein FALEH / AFP
Iraqi riot police stand guard as protestors take part in a demonstration against state corruption, failing public services and unemployment, on October 2, 2019 in the southern city of Basra. Popular protests multiplied across Iraq today as thousands of demonstrators braved live fire and tear gas in rallies that have left seven dead in the past 24 hours. Hussein FALEH / AFP
Iraqi protesters chant slogans during a demonstration against state corruption, failing public services and unemployment at Tayaran square in Baghdad on October 2, 2019. Iraq's president and the United Nations urged security forces to show restraint after two protesters were killed in clashes with police that other top officials blamed on "infiltrators." AHMAD AL-RUBAYE / AFP
Iraqi protesters chant slogans during a demonstration against state corruption, failing public services and unemployment at Tayaran square in Baghdad on October 2, 2019. Iraq's president and the United Nations urged security forces to show restraint after two protesters were killed in clashes with police that other top officials blamed on "infiltrators." AHMAD AL-RUBAYE / AFP
An Iraqi protestor wounded in war shouts slogans during a demonstration against state corruption, failing public services and unemployment, on October 2, 2019 in the southern city of Basra. Popular protests multiplied across Iraq today as thousands of demonstrators braved live fire and tear gas in rallies that have left seven dead in the past 24 hours. Hussein FALEH / AFP
An Iraqi protestor wounded in war shouts slogans during a demonstration against state corruption, failing public services and unemployment, on October 2, 2019 in the southern city of Basra. Popular protests multiplied across Iraq today as thousands of demonstrators braved live fire and tear gas in rallies that have left seven dead in the past 24 hours. Hussein FALEH / AFP
An Iraqi protester displays bullet casings during a demonstration against state corruption, failing public services and unemployment at Tayaran square in Baghdad on October 2, 2019. Iraq's president and the United Nations urged security forces to show restraint after two protesters were killed in clashes with police that other top officials blamed on "infiltrators." AHMAD AL-RUBAYE / AFP
An Iraqi protester displays bullet casings during a demonstration against state corruption, failing public services and unemployment at Tayaran square in Baghdad on October 2, 2019. Iraq's president and the United Nations urged security forces to show restraint after two protesters were killed in clashes with police that other top officials blamed on "infiltrators." AHMAD AL-RUBAYE / AFP
Iraqi protesters gather during a demonstration against state corruption, failing public services and unemployment at Tayaran square in Baghdad on October 2, 2019. Iraq's president and the United Nations urged security forces to show restraint after two protesters were killed in clashes with police that other top officials blamed on "infiltrators." AHMAD AL-RUBAYE / AFP
Iraqi protesters gather during a demonstration against state corruption, failing public services and unemployment at Tayaran square in Baghdad on October 2, 2019. Iraq's president and the United Nations urged security forces to show restraint after two protesters were killed in clashes with police that other top officials blamed on "infiltrators." AHMAD AL-RUBAYE / AFP
An Iraqi protester gestures the v-sign during a demonstration against state corruption, failing public services and unemployment at Tayaran square in Baghdad on October 2, 2019. Iraq's president and the United Nations urged security forces to show restraint after two protesters were killed in clashes with police that other top officials blamed on "infiltrators." AHMAD AL-RUBAYE / AFP
An Iraqi protester gestures the v-sign during a demonstration against state corruption, failing public services and unemployment at Tayaran square in Baghdad on October 2, 2019. Iraq's president and the United Nations urged security forces to show restraint after two protesters were killed in clashes with police that other top officials blamed on "infiltrators." AHMAD AL-RUBAYE / AFP
An Iraqi protester waves an Iraqi Hezbollah flag during a demonstration against state corruption, failing public services and unemployment in the Baladiyat district of the capital Baghdad on October 2, 2019. Iraq's president and the United Nations urged security forces to show restraint after two protesters were killed in clashes with police that other top officials blamed on "infiltrators." AHMAD AL-RUBAYE / AFP
An Iraqi protester waves an Iraqi Hezbollah flag during a demonstration against state corruption, failing public services and unemployment in the Baladiyat district of the capital Baghdad on October 2, 2019. Iraq's president and the United Nations urged security forces to show restraint after two protesters were killed in clashes with police that other top officials blamed on "infiltrators." AHMAD AL-RUBAYE / AFP
A topless masked protester flashes the victory gesture as he waves an Iraqi national flag before a burning building during a demonstration against state corruption and poor services, between the capital Baghdad's Tahrir Square and the high-security Green Zone district, on October 1, 2019.  AHMAD AL-RUBAYE / AFP
A topless masked protester flashes the victory gesture as he waves an Iraqi national flag before a burning building during a demonstration against state corruption and poor services, between the capital Baghdad's Tahrir Square and the high-security Green Zone district, on October 1, 2019. AHMAD AL-RUBAYE / AFP