Iraq says nearly 560 killed in anti-government unrest

Iraqi demonstrators lift up a man who was killed during anti-government protests in Baghdad, Iraq, January 21, 2020. REUTERS/Khalid Al-Mousily/File Photo

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SULAIMANI — Nearly 560 Iraqi protesters and security forces were killed in months of anti-government unrest that erupted last year, the government said on Thursday (July 30).

Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi’s new government has pledged to investigate the deaths and incarceration of hundreds of protesters in unrest that unseated the previous government last year, according to Reuters.

The death toll is roughly in line with what news outlets and rights groups have reported.

The government will treat all 560 people as “martyrs” and each family will be offered 10 million diners ($8,380) in compensation, Hisham Daoud, the prime minister’s adviser, told reporters.

Protests began on Oct. 1 and continued for several months, with hundreds of thousands of Iraqis demanding jobs, services and the removal of the ruling elite, which they said was corrupt.

The protests caused the resignation of Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi, who was replaced in May by Kadhimi, a former intelligence chief.

(NRT Digital Media/Reuters)