Fresh clashes in Iraq leave 2 dead, 40 wounded

Baghdad [Iraq], Nov 23 (ANI): At least two people were killed and 40 others sustained injuries after clashes broke out between security forces and anti-government demonstrators in the Iraqi capital Baghdad on Friday.

The clashes erupted on Friday morning when dozens of protesters tried to cross a security wall in Rasheed Street in downtown Baghdad, an Interior Ministry official told Xinhua on condition of anonymity, adding that the security forces used smoke and tear gas canisters and fired bullets in the air to disperse the demonstrators, who were trying to reach the al-Shuhadaa Bridge through al-Rasheed Street.

Nationwide protests in Iraq began in early October and escalated in waves. People are demanding the ouster of the government, as well as economic reforms, better living conditions, social welfare and an end to corruption.

Meanwhile, Iraq's top Shiite leader Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani on Friday called on the political parties to speed up the reform measures, saying the changes were the only way to end the anti-government protests. (ANI)