Iraq Troops Kill 28 Protesters After Iran’s Consulate Torched

Security forces increasingly aggressive in shooting protesters

A day after protesters in Iraq’s holy city of Najaf burned the Iranian consulate to the ground, Iraqi security forces are out in force with increasingly aggressive tactics, shooting live ammunition into crowds of protesters, and killing at least 28.

The biggest incident was in Nassiriya, where protesters were trying to block a bridge. Troops opened fire into the crowd, killing at least 24, and wounding dozens of others in the process.

The other four protesters were killed in Baghdad, also near a bridge, when troops opened fire on them. One protester said that since the consulate burned, riot police are “shooting at us as if we were burning Iraq as a whole.”

Iraq’s government has repeatedly ordered the troops to get more aggressive in stopping the protests, and they seem increasingly to appreciate that the only way they will remain in power is through sheer force.

So far, however, killing protesters has just led to bigger protests. Protesters have complained that the government is too beholden to foreign powers, and with Iran advocating them staying in power, this seems to be a big reason for the protesters going after the consulate.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.