Iraqi security forces shot dead 5 protesters in Baghdad on Monday , using live ammunition to disperse a violent demonstration near the headquarters of state-run Iraqiya television.
The Iraqi Foreign Ministry condemned the attack by some demonstrators on the Iranian Consulate in the Shiite holy city of Karbala.
Reuters video showed security forces shooting one protester dead with live ammunition, his body carried away by fellow protesters. A Reuters cameraman said he saw at least four other people get killed.
The agency quoted witnesses saying that Iraqi security forces opened fire on protesters in Baghdad, killing at least five of them during an attempt to break the protests at Al-Ahrar Bridge leading to Al-Rashid Street in central Baghdad, after the demonstrators managed to cut the bridge earlier today.
Security forces used tear gas and fired live ammunition, the agency said, adding that demonstrators were gathering on both sides of the bridge and were trying to climb on it to close it again.
Al-Ahrar Bridge is the third bridge that has been cut since the beginning of the demonstrations in Baghdad, after cutting the bridges of the Republic and Al-Snak earlier ,to prevent the demonstrators from reaching the Green Zone, which houses the headquarters of the Iraqi government and parliament, and embassies of a number of countries, including the US Embassy.
This is the first time that live bullets have been used in the capital since October 25, with the resumption of the second wave of protests that began earlier this month, which has so far killed more than 250 people.
The Iraqi security forces regained control of the perimeter of the Iranian consulate building in Karbala province after clashes with protesters who tried to storm it.
A security source said 12 wounded protesters were taken to hospital last night.
The source added that the protesters in the holy Shiite city of Karbala torched the Iranian consulate with Molotov cocktails, but the security forces prevented a fire in the building, pointing out that he was empty of the diplomatic mission at the moment trying to storm it.
For its part, announced the leadership of military operations in the province of Basra (southern Iraq) that it has obtained judicial approvals for the arrest of demonstrators, who are blocking roads to vital installations of the province.
The authorities provided full protection to peaceful demonstrators claiming their legitimate rights in a civilized manner, but would respond differently to what they described as outlaw abuses.
Demonstrators aimed to block roads leading to the ports of Umm Qasr, Zubair and Abu Flus, and others blocked the road leading to a number of oil fields run by international companies .
Source: Reuters, Al Jazeera, Debriefer).