Police forcibly dispersed thousands of protesters in Baghdad on Tuesday, October 29, amid the fifth consecutive day of anti-government demonstrations in the capital denouncing high unemployment and perceived government corruption. Security forces stationed along the Jumariyah Bridge reportedly fired tear gas to prevent demonstrators from moving toward the Green Zone. No casualties were immediately reported. Protesters remained camped out in Baghdad's Tahrir Square overnight on Tuesday in defiance of a nightly curfew imposed by the government the previous day.
Earlier on Tuesday, several trade unions representing teachers, lawyers, and medical professionals announced an indefinite strike in solidarity with anti-government protesters.
Heightened security measures and disruptions to transportation and business are to be expected in Baghdad over the coming days as anti-government protests and the nightly curfew continue. Disruptions to internet and telecommunications services are possible amid the unrest. Clashes between protesters and security forces are likely around protest sites.
Demonstrations broke out on October 1 to protest perceived government corruption, inadequate provision of public services, and a lack of job opportunities. At least 230 people have been killed and thousands wounded in the following weeks of unrest.
Individuals in Baghdad and across Iraq are advised to closely monitor the situation, avoid all protests and large public gatherings due to potential violence, prepare for disruptions to transportation and business in areas affected by anti-government demonstrations, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.
The security environment in Iraq remains complex. Although travel is possible in some areas with proper security protocols in place, other areas should be considered strictly off-limits. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to all travel.
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