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Death toll in Iraq protests rises to 31

BAGHDAD — An Iraqi medical official says at least six protesters have been shot and killed in the southern city of Nasiriyah, south of the capital Baghdad, during anti-government rallies.

The official tells The Associated Press the bodies of the protesters were brought to the local hospital after sunset. The protesters had defied a curfew imposed in the city, about 320 kilometers, or 200 miles, southeast of the capital, Baghdad. Protests have spread in Baghdad and towns and cities to the south since Tuesday. The new violence brings the death toll to 31, including 10 killed today. The official speaks on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to brief the media.

The protesters have rallied behind calls to unseat the government, accusing it of corruption and failure to address deepening economic malaise. The security forces have responded with live ammunition, tear gas and water cannons while authorities cut the internet which protesters had used to organize.

— AP

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