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Iraq reinforces security presence at Iran consulate in Karbala

Iraqi security forces gather behind a wall protecting the Iranian consulate in the Shiite Muslim shrine city of Karbala, south of Iraq's capital Baghdad, during the night of November 3, 2019 [MOHAMMED SAWAF/AFP via Getty Images]

The Iraqi Ministry of Interior yesterday deployed security reinforcements and imposed a security cordon around the Iranian consulate building in Karbala, in the south of the country.

The Iraqi army commander in Karbala, Ali Al-Hashemi, told reporters: "The Iranian consulate is completely surrounded by emergency regiments, and the situation in Karbala is completely under control."

This comes as hundreds of protesters set fire to tyres in front of the Iranian consulate building, following the assassination of the popular civilian activist Ihab Al-Wazni outside his home in the predominantly Shia city.

The protesters accused Iraqi factions linked to Iran of assassinating Al-Wazni, who was a vocal opponent of Iran's influence in Iraq and Tehran-linked armed groups in the country.

Meanwhile, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said his country was waiting for the Iraqi authorities to do their duties and protect Iranian diplomatic missions.

READ: Prominent anti-Iran activist assassinated in Iraq

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