The casualty figures from yesterday’s protests continued to rise today as reports trickled out from a number of cities across Iraq; however, the most chilling news came from Baghdad were hundreds of protestors may be detained and suffering from beatings. At least 19 Iraqis were killed and 33 more wounded besides those rumored beaten during arrests. Also, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani asked the government to improve services and combat corruption, while Human Rights Watch called for an investigation into the illegal use of force by security personnel.
A possible explanation for the low estimate of wounded yesterday comes from four journalists who saw many wounded detainees inside a Defense Ministry prison in Baghdad yesterday. The four journalists, who were beaten and arrested as well, used their connections to gain freedom and then reported encountering at least 300 other Iraqis who were detained after the protests. Many of them were bloodied and blindfolded and unable to alert anyone to their predicament. At least two other journalists were beaten.
Four bodies were discovered in Kirkuk.
Gunmen stormed an oil refinery in Baiji, killing four employees before setting it on fire.
Two people were killed in Qobaisa during protests.
An additional death from yesterday’s demonstrations was reported in Falluja where a 60-year-old man died.
A 15-year-old protestor died in Kalar, the only city in Diyala province to have reported any casualties in protests.
Two protestors died in Samarra.