İrem UZUN-TDO- Iraq deployed counter-terrorism troops in the southern city of Nassiriya on Wednesday after police “lost control” when gunfights broke out between protesters and security forces, police sources said. Protesters also attempted to reach central Tahrir Square, which police had earlier sealed off along with a nearby bridge leading to the Green Zone, where government buildings and foreign embassies are located. At least three protesters and one policeman have been killed in Iraq's southern city of Nasiriyah, according to a monitoring group, after nationwide anti-government protests devolved into violence that saw security forces fire live rounds and tear gas for a second straight day.Social media platforms and internet access have been blocked in the capital and other parts of the country.
An unconfirmed report by Reuters news agency says curfews have been imposed in Nasiriya and two other southern cites, Amara and Hilla. The United Nations has called on the authorities to exercise restraint. UN special representative Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert said that "Every individual has the right to speak freely, in keeping with the law".
The protests, which appear to lack any organized leadership, are the largest since Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi took office a year ago.