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Route closures and protests continue in Baghdad amidst elevated security measures


In the aftermath of the fatal demonstration at Tahrir Square on 1 October, the situation in the capital remained tense. To recall, approximately 3,000 individuals demanded improvements in essential government services and employment opportunities and denounced alleged corruption surrounding the removal of Counter Terrorism Service Commander Lieutenant General Abdul Wahab al-Saadi. According to a local security source, three protesters were killed as a result of the demonstration that day. Member of the Commission on Human Rights in Iraq, Fadhel al-Gharawi, added that 260 civilians and 40 security personnel were wounded during the clashes.

On the morning of 2 October, a number of demonstrations were again reported in diverse areas of the capital. Dozens of individuals blocked the Baghdad-Kirkuk road (Highway 2) near the Hosseinia Overpass, located north of Baghdad. In the Za’franiyah area of southeast Baghdad, protesters blocked a number of routes with burning tires. Riot Police responded and fired live rounds into the air and dispersed the protest. As many as eight individuals were wounded as a result. An unnamed Iraqi Ministry of Interior official stated that a child was killed when a protester threw a Molotov cocktail at a vehicle carrying civilian passengers in Za’franiyah. Later that afternoon, demonstrators blocked the Baghdad International Airport Road in west Baghdad.

In an effort to reduce tensions, Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi outlined the details of a number of directives aimed at creating new job opportunities for Iraqi university graduates. Partial internet disruptions affecting social media and direct messaging platforms have also been reported in diverse areas of Iraq. Given current atmospherics, demonstrations are likely to continue in diverse areas of the capital, with Tahrir Square forming the epicenter of such activity.


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