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Over 50 injured in Iraq protests 

January 13, 2020 at 10:04 am

Iraqis take part in anti-government protests in Baghdad, Iraq on 10 January 2020 [Murtadha Sudani/Anadolu Agency]

More than 50 Iraqis were injured in confrontations between protesters and security forces in the southern Iraqi governorate of Wasit, Anadolu Agency reported.

A medical source in Wasit Health Directorate said local hospitals received and treated 59 wounded persons; 48 of whom were security personnel.

According to the source, most of the injuries were minor.

Clashes took place between students and riot police outside the University of Wasit in the city of Kut.

Tensions have been on the rise in the Wasit Governorate since Thursday after activists circulated a video of the provincial police chief, Brigadier Ali Hilayel, threatening to “end the life” of any protester who “blocks a street, burns tyres or prevents students from education”.

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In the footage, Hilayel repeated the threat: “I will banish him from existence.”

Since then, the governorate has witnessed several protests in front of the police headquarters demanding Hilayel be removed from his post and held accountable for the threats.

Since October, Iraq has witnessed violent protests between youth demanding better living conditions and an end to corruption. The protests, which led to the murder to hundreds of protesters and the injury of thousands more, forced Prime Minister Abdil Abdul-Mahdi to resign.