Iraq protest death toll nears 100

BAGHDAD (AFP) – The death toll from mass protests in Baghdad and cities across southern Iraq rose to 93 yesterday as the unrest entered its fifth day, Parliament’s human rights commission said.

Nearly 4,000 people have also been injured since the protests against chronic unemployment, poor public services and widespread corruption erupted in the capital on Tuesday, the commission said.

It was not immediately clear whether the latest deaths were from Friday’s huge protests or fresh demonstrations yesterday. The authorities have imposed a virtual blackout of the Internet and confirmation of protest casualties in the provinces has trickled in slowly.

Anti-government protesters take cover while Iraq security forces fire during a demonstration in Baghdad. PHOTO: AP