At least five protesters were shot dead by security forces and more than 90 people were injured yesterday during the protests in the city of Sulaymaniyah in northern Iraq's Kurdish region, according to officials.
Speaking to the Anadolu Agency, Taha Mohammed, public health director in Sulaymaniyah's town of Ranya, said another 70 people had been injured – including 36 security personnel – in clashes between protesters and security forces.
Since Monday, Sulaymaniyah has been the scene of large demonstrations by civil servants to protest public-sector salary delays and perceived government corruption.
Earlier yesterday, protesters torched a number of public facilities in Sulaymaniyah, including the offices of some opposition groups.
Aydin Maruf, a lawmaker for the Iraqi Turkmen Front (ITF), told the Anadolu Agency that demonstrators had set fire to the ITF's office in the city's Kifri district.
According to Maruf, protesters also torched the local headquarters of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, as well as the Koy Sanjaq prefecture building near Erbil, the municipal capital of the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG).
Shorash Ismail, the police chief in Koy Sanjaq, said at least 15 people had been injured – two seriously – in clashes between security forces and protesters in the prefecture.
Local authorities have reportedly stepped up security throughout the region with a view to preventing further escalations.