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Iraq PM orders probe into deadly protests

People burn tires as they gather to protest government due to corruption, unsolved unemployment issue and inadequate public service in Baghdad, Iraq on October 02, 2019 [Murtadha Sudani / Anadolu Agency]
People burn tires as they gather to protest government due to corruption, unsolved unemployment issue and inadequate public service in Baghdad, Iraq on 2 October 2019 [Murtadha Sudani /Anadolu Agency]

Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi has ordered the formation of an investigation panel into deadly protests that left dozens dead and injured thousands this month.

In a Saturday statement, Abdul-Mahdi said the committee will seek to bring those responsible for the death of protesters to justice.

Protests rocked the capital of Baghdad and southern provinces this month against deteriorating living conditions and perceived government corruption.

At least 165 people were killed and thousands injured since the protests began on Oct. 1, according to the Iraqi Health Ministry.

READ: ‘Coup’ attempt in Iraq is really an attack on Iran

On Friday, prominent Shia cleric Ali al-Sistani blamed the Iraqi government and security forces for the bloodshed and called on the authorities to launch an investigation to determine who gave the orders to shoot the protesters.

Discontent has been growing 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, and unemployment is around 10%.

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