The death toll from anti-government protests in Iraq rose to 81 on Monday as security forces tried to disperse demonstrators in the capital Baghdad, according to a security source.
The source, who asked not to be named due to security concerns, said that more than 100 protesters were also injured in clashes with security personnel on Monday.
In a second wave of anti-government demonstrations since Friday, Baghdad and other Iraqi provinces have been rocked by protests against government corruption, unemployment, and a lack of basic services.
The first wave of protests in early October left 149 protesters and eight security personnel dead. The Independent High Commission for Human Rights (IHCHR) said more than 3,600 people were injured in the protests.
Anger has been building in Iraq in recent years due to rising unemployment and rampant corruption. Many in the country have limited access to basic services such as electricity and clean water.
According to World Bank figures, Iraq’s youth unemployment is around 25%. It is ranked the 12th most-corrupt country in the world by several transparency organizations.
*Writing by Mahmoud Barakat, Mohamed Sabry Emam Muhammed