At least eight people were killed and 90 others wounded amid further unrest in Baghdad on Thursday, November 21. Clashes between security forces and protesters were reported on Rasheed Street as well in the vicinity of the Sinak and Ahrar bridges. Protesters have for days occupied parts of the Sinak, Ahrar, and Jumhuriyah bridges. Security forces have used live ammunition, tear gas, and stun grenades to prevent demonstrators from reaching the Green Zone.
In a separate incident, one policeman was killed and six others wounded in an improvised explosive device (IED) attack in northeast Baghdad. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the blast.
Clashes were also reported in Karabala on Thursday, where protesters launched petrol bombs at police, who reportedly responded by hurling stones.
Heightened security measures and disruptions to transportation and businesses are to be expected in Baghdad, Karbala, and other major urban centers over the coming days as protests continue. Disruptions to Internet and telecommunications services are also expected to continue amid the unrest. Clashes between protesters and security forces are likely near all protest sites.
Demonstrations broke out in Iraq on October 1 to protest perceived government corruption, inadequate provision of public services, and a lack of job opportunities. Following weeks of relative calm, demonstrations violently resumed on October 24-25, coinciding with the deadline issued by Grand Ayatollah Sistani to the government to produce a report on who in the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) was responsible for firing at civilians during previous demonstrations. More than 300 people have been killed and 10,000 wounded since protests began. On October 31, President Barham Saleh announced that Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi agreed to resign if the Iraqi parliament's party blocs can agree on a replacement.
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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