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At least five dead in Iraq after anti-government protests

At least five people have died in Iraq as anti-government protests have entered into a second day. The death toll this month has been over 190.

Protests began on 1 October and during these earlier protests close to 150 people died due to clashes with the security forces. The government has released a report acknowledging that authorities had used excessive force in responding to these demonstrations.

The BBC has stated that the protests continued in Iraq despite the leaders of the protests insisting that demonstrators give the government time to respond to their demands.

Hundreds of protesters gathered in Baghdad and Iraq’s southern provinces demanding more jobs, better public service and an end to government corruption. They have also called on the government to resign.

Iraq Prime Minister, Prime Minister Abdul Mahdi, is in his first year of governance and has pledged to address the concerns of protest as well as reshuffle his cabinet and deliver on reforms.

Despite these promises, Al Jazeera notes a scepticism over establishment figures who are seen to be in the pockets of the US and Iran instead of representing Iraqi’s best interests.

According to World Bank statistic, close to three-fifths of Iraq's 40 million people live on less than six dollars a day. This is despite the country holding the world's fifth-largest proven reserves of oil.

Read more here and here.