Iraq Protest: 30 killed over 2000 injured by police

Renewed anti-government demonstrations in Iraq have gripped the capital, Baghdad, and swept through several other cities in the country's south, leaving at least 30 people dead, according to the country's human rights commission and a monitor.

The protests on Friday came three weeks after an earlier bout of rallies erupted as a result of widespread anger at official corruption, mass unemployment and failing public services. More than 150 people were killed during those demonstrations amid a crackdown by security forces.

Iraqi police fired rubber bullets and volleys of tear gas canisters in response to the fresh protests, with at least 30 deaths recorded in Baghdad and the southern provinces of Basra, Maysan, Dhi Qar and Muthanna, according to the Iraqi Observatory for Human Rights.

Iraq's semi-official Human Rights Commission also put the death toll at 30, and said more than 2,000 protesters had been wounded.

Unemployment, particularly among young people, is a major issue. Millions of people lack access to adequate healthcare, schooling, water or power supplies, and much of the country's infrastructure is in tatters.

"We want the government to step down and for the political system to be completely revamped," one protester in Baghdad's central Tahrir Square told Al Jazeera on Friday.

"The whole political elite needs to change because the current system has done nothing for us," added the demonstrator, who asked to remain anonymous for security reasons.

Excerpts: Aljazeera news

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