Iraq’s Prime Minister Adel Abdel-Mahdi on Monday ordered that army troops be withdrawn from an eastern Baghdad suburb and be replaced with police following deadly clashes.
The Iraqi military said at least eight people were killed in clashes between Iraqi security forces and protesters in Sadr City on Sunday.
A security source told DPA that scores of people were wounded in the clashes.
The Iraqi military said in a statement that an ‘excessive force beyond the engagement rules’ was used in the clashes and measures to hold officers who committed such mistakes accountable have begun via investigating councils.
Thousands of Iraqis have taken to the streets of several provinces in the oil-rich country to protest corruption, lack of job opportunities and poor services – in particular access to electricity and clean water.
More than 104 people, mainly demonstrators, have been killed and about 6,107 others injured in the protests.
On Sunday, Abdel-Mahdi discussed the protests in a phone call with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. The prime minister reviewed the latest developments and the return to normal life after a curfew was lifted and affirmed that security forces have controlled the situation, and stability has been restored.
He also asserted that his government has outlined a package of reforms and measures and would continue to provide more to respond to the protesters’ demands.
Pompeo expressed his trust in the Iraqi security forces and affirmed Washington’s support for Iraq and its government’s efforts to boost security and stability.