A Baghdad-based war monitor announced on Sunday that the mass protests in Iraq had left 831 protesters killed and injured over the past 10 days, Iraqi News reports.
Speaking at a press conference, Mostafa Saadon, the spokesman for the Iraqi Observatory for Human Rights, said, “the clashes between security forces and protesters in Iraq’s south and center left 831 people dead and injured since the start of the demonstrations 10 days ago.”
According to Saadon, Iraqi authorities are currently launching “a wide-scale security campaign in search of the activists who took part in the demonstrations in Baghdad and the other governorates.”
“Iraqi authorities arrested 348 people for taking part in the rallies, 314 of whom were released later after signing a pledge that they will not stage or call for any protests afterwards,” Hesam el-Hashemy, a member of the Iraqi Observatory for Human Rights, said.
Mass demonstrations against unemployment, corruption and poor services spread further across southern Iraqi provinces, prompting Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to rush from a NATO summit in Brussels to Basra to meet with local officials and tribal leaders in a bid to restore calm.
The demonstrations started two weeks ago in Basra province, but they later extended to other cities, including Amara, Nasiriya, Karbala and the Shiite holy city of Najaf. There were also protests in parts of the capital, Baghdad.