At least 26 people were wounded when Iraqi security forces used tear gas to disperse anti-government protesters in Baghdad on Wednesday, October 30. Thousands of protesters reportedly gathered in Tahrir Square on Wednesday and made multiple attempts to move toward Baghdad's Green Zone. Associated protests were also held in Najaf, Diwaniyah, Nasiriyah, and Basra.
On Tuesday, October 29, Shi'a cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and MP Hadi al-Amiri agreed to cooperate in removing Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi from office. Al-Sadr and al-Amiri lead the two largest blocs in the Iraqi parliament. Earlier this week, Abdul-Mahdi rebuffed al-Sadr's call for early elections.
Heightened security measures and disruptions to transportation and business are to be expected in Baghdad and other major urban centers 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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