Iraqi security forces shot dead two protesters in the southern city of Nassiriya on Wednesday after using live ammunition to disperse an anti-government protest, police and medical sources told Reuters.
At least 16 protesters were wounded, mainly by live bullets, when security forces attempted to move them away from bridges and a central square, the sources said, Reuters reports.
Police said protesters threw stones at security forces, wounding at least 11. A Reuters witness said crowds subsequently gathered outside a hospital morgue, demanding the release of the two bodies.
Around 300 people took part in the demonstration, which was called to protest against recent arrests that targeted activists in the mainly Shia city of Nassiriya.
Prime Minister, Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani ordered the formation of a committee to investigate the incident and instructed the Interior Minister to remove the police chief of Nassiriya and appoint a new commander, said a brief statement from the Premier’s office.
It was the first such deadly demonstration since a new government was formed by Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani in October.