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01 Mar 2020 | 01:02 PM UTC

Iraq: At least one person killed amid clashes in Baghdad March 1 /update 120

Security forces kill at least one protester in Baghdad clashes on March 1; further protests and clashes possible over the coming days

security
transportation
IRQ

Event

Iraqi security forces killed at least one protester and wounded 24 others in clashes in Baghdad on Sunday, March 1. The person was reportedly killed after being struck by a birdshot fired from a hunting rifle.

Iraq's parliament adjourned again on Sunday a session to approve the cabinet proposed by Prime Minister Mohammed Allawi after it failed to reach a quorum. Should lawmakers fail to agree to a cabinet by Monday, March 2, a new candidate for prime minister will be designated.

Further demonstrations and clashes are possible in Baghdad over the coming days. A heightened security presence and disruptions to transportation and business are to be expected around demonstration sites.

Context

Demonstrations broke out in Iraq on October 1, 2019, to protest alleged government corruption, inadequate provision of public services, and a lack of job opportunities. Following weeks of relatively calm demonstrations, violence resumed on October 24-25, coinciding with the deadline issued by Grand Ayatollah Sistani to the government issuing them to produce a report on the members of the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) that were responsible for firing at civilians during previous demonstrations. An estimated 670 people have been killed and some 24,488 people have been wounded since the protests began.

Advice

Individuals in Iraq are advised to closely monitor the situation, avoid all protests and large public gatherings due to potential violence, prepare for disruptions to transportation and business in areas affected by anti-government demonstrations, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.

The security environment in Iraq remains complex. Although travel is possible in some areas with proper security protocols in place, other areas should be considered strictly off-limits. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to all travel.