Protest Casualties Higher; 65 Killed, 506 Wounded in Iraq

Protests in Baghdad led to heavy security throughout the city on Saturday, and many usually busy streets remained empty. Tahrir Square, where demonstrators have been gathering, has been closed off to them. Hospital sources say that 570 people were treated after the melee that broke out yesterday. That figure is up from the 106 wounded that was reported yesterday. It is unclear how many people who were injured did not seek medical care. Also, a soldier who was stabbed died of his wounds.

Iraq officials expect to open the international border with Jordan within two weeks. The Trebil crossing was shut down last July because of the Islamic State takeover of territory within Anbar province. Operations in and around Rutba have driven most of the Daesh militants from the area, however, it is unclear when or if traffic will be able to move freely along the highway that leads to Jordan. Militants could still attack vehicles along the route. For now, experts are clearing the highway of booby-traps.

Apparently ignoring government corruption as the source of the protests, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi asked citizens to remain united against any Baathist influence among the demonstrators.

At least 65 people were killed and 506 were wounded, including those harmed in the Baghdad protests:

A suicide bomber in Dujail killed seven people and wounded 28 more.

Two people were killed and seven were wounded in a blast at a Tarmiya market.

A roadside bomb wounded two soldiers in Fuhailat.

Shelling on a refugee camp in Diyala province left one injured.

In Baghdad, a firefight broke out in Rashidiya district.

Seventeen militants were killed in operations near Mosul.

Strikes on Falluja left 13 militants dead and four wounded.

Thirteen militants were killed in a strike on Dibs.

A strike west of Kirkuk left eight militants dead, including an official.

Near Sinjar, three suicide bomber were killed.

An airstrike killed a number of militants in Khalidiya, including a militant commander.

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Author: Margaret Griffis

Margaret Griffis is a journalist from Miami Beach, Florida and has
been covering Iraqi casualties for Antiwar.com since 2006.