Anti-government demonstrations continued across the country leaving scores wounded. The extent of the demonstrations is unknown as reports of them are not thorough even with extensive amounts of casualties. At least three Iraqis were killed and 55 more were wounded in the protests and other incidents.
Although Iraqi officials are publicly supporting further demonstrations, journalists are claiming intimidation ahead of mass demonstrations scheduled for Friday. Not only were their offices raided and laptops stolen, but they also say officials are trying to scare the public away from the protests. Baghdad Operations Command spokesman Gen. Qassim Atta did warn of terrorist attacks, but he also recently denied previous attacks had taken place, possibly at the hands of security officials.
In another blow to demonstration organizers, Shi’ite clerics Moqtada al-Sadr and Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani asked demonstrators to postpone gathering on Friday. The appeal comes just a week after Sadr said a million followers would join the turnout. He instead suggested to set a national referendum for Feb. 28 and ask what citizens want.
A protest in Halabja turned deadly today, when demonstrators allegedly fired upon police, killing one and wounding another. Four other people were also wounded today, but 32 people were wounded in yesterday’s protest.
Clashes that broke out during a rally in Nasariya left 15 wounded, mostly police.
Two politicians attempting to speak at a Suleimaniya demonstration were chased away, while a pro-Barzani author was heckled.
A blast in Mosul killed a soldier and wounded two others.
A policeman was wounded as he tried to defuse a bomb in Shirqat.
Six al-Qaeda suspects were arrested in Qaim after a number of explosives were discovered.