Anti-government protesters take to the streets in Iraq
At least 12 people have been killed in anti-government protests across Iraq which began earlier this week, hospital sources said Thursday.
Seven more people -- six demonstrators and one police officer -- were killed in the country's southern province of Dhi Qar on Wednesday after curfew was declared.
GOVERNMENT DECLARES CURFEW IN BAGHDAD
The number of people injured also rose to 112 -- 97 demonstrators and 15 policemen, said sources at the Husyaniya Training Hospital in the province, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.
Women took part in the second day of protests on Wednesday, with security forces on high alert, locking down several squares and streets in Baghdad.
TRAVELERS ARE EXEMPT FROM THE CURFEW
Iraq is declaring a curfew in Baghdad starting early on Thursday until further notice, Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi announced late on Wednesday, after two days of nationwide anti-government protests turned violent. "Statement from the commander-in-chief of the armed forces: all vehicles and individuals are totally forbidden to move in Baghdad as of 5 am today, Thursday, and until further notice," Abdul Mahdi said in a statement.
Travelers to and from Baghdad airport, ambulances, government employees in hospitals, electricity, and water departments, and religious pilgrims are exempt from the curfew, the statement said.
The protesters are calling for an end to corruption as the current government struggles to end mismanagement of public funds.
According to World Bank figures, youth unemployment in Iraq has reached around 25 percent. The country is also ranked the 12th-most corrupt country in the world by several transparency organizations.