Baghdad at Night


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A few dozen protesters tried to reach Tahrir Square again on Wednesday morning but were met with scores of riot police who formed a human barrier and soldiers who blocked roads, sometimes with barbed wire. Security forces again fired tear gas and live ammunition into the air to disperse the protesters, chasing them away, according to officials.

Saadoun Street, a major commercial thoroughfare leading to Tahrir Square, was deserted and all the shops and restaurants were closed. Smoke could be seen near Tahrir and intermittent gunfire could be heard, as well as ambulance sirens. Anti-government protesters set fire and block roads in Baghdad, Iraq, Oct 2, Security and medical officials said three protesters were killed in Baghdad Wednesday and four in Nasiriyah, about kilometers southeast of the capital.

Al-Sarafiya Bridge

All officials spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations. In Zaafaraniyah, a year-old girl was also killed when she was hit by a car speeding away from a checkpoint amid protests. Security officials said authorities imposed a curfew in several southern Iraqi cities including Nasiriyah, Amara and Hilla after protesters attacked government buildings there. They spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.

NetBlocks, which monitors cybersecurity and internet governance, reported that Internet access was cut off across much of Iraq and social and messaging apps blocked amid the growing unrest. The protests are the most serious challenge to Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi's nearly year-old government. The premier held a national security emergency meeting Wednesday. His office later said the meeting denounced the violence that accompanied the protests and said measures will be taken to protect citizens and public property and that the government will spare no effort to fulfill the demands of the protesters.


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In Zaafaraniya, southeast of Baghdad, at least five people were treated for breathing difficulties after police used tear gas to break up a small protest. Police also used tear gas in al-Shaab, north of the Iraqi capital. Security officials said five people were arrested in al-Shaab and three in Zaafaraniya. People use water to cool off anti-government protesters chanting slogans while Iraq security forces close streets to prevent them from reaching Tahrir Square in central Baghdad, Iraq, Oct 2, The protests appear to be spontaneous and without political leadership, organized by people on social media against corruption and lack of basic services, such as electricity and water.

Dozens of university graduates unable to find jobs in the corruption-plagued but oil-rich country also joined the rallies. Politicians denounced the violence and at least one, influential Shi'ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, called for an investigation. The statement said authorities "regretted" the violence that accompanied the protests, blaming "a group of rioters" for inciting violence.

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Twitter FaceBook LinkedIn. By Associated Press. Thursday, October 03, , By Associated Press. READ MORE: Iraq closes camps for displaced, pushes families into peril Groups of protesters continued to take to the streets, some of them calling for toppling the government. ALSO READ: Iraq parliament approves budget ending weeks of deadlock The violence was some of the worst between protesters and security forces in Iraq, signaling that the war-weary country could be facing a new round of political instability.

Mounted on makeshift Humvee gun trucks, soldiers dash into the streets looking for the shooter. Locals point directions from windows, but the soldiers wind through the back streets searching in vain. A group of men claiming to be local police squat outside their station and only shrug when troops ask where the shots were fired. The platoon had just arrested five men for carrying weapons. A few nights before, 1st Platoon had its first night patrol.

The troops were to check a couple of gas stations and then walk through the slums looking for thieves or curfew violators, said 2nd Lt. Kurt Muniz of Brooklyn, N. The platoon began walking through a rundown filling station at a.

Several vagrants slept beside an old truck, but were causing no harm. Chris Miller, 21, of Jackson, Mich. Fear hid in the back of his thoughts, but an adrenaline rush kept him focused, Miller said. Dale Hall told his troops.

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First Platoon then headed to a neighborhood where gunshots are heard nightly. Again, the troops dismounted from Humvees. They filed in a staggered column down a filthy street lined with four- and five-story buildings, scanning the darkened windows and probing into alleys. The three heavy-machine gunners and three Humvee drivers waited in the empty avenue for a call that the dismounted squad needed either help or a lift.

As the patrol disappeared down a dark side street, Sgt. Lonnie Russel of Wisconsin lifted the hood to work on a mechanical problem that was causing the Humvee to not start properly. Hall stepped lightly around corners, checking first with the end of his rifle.

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But anyone could know the troops were coming. Tankers are not used to walking on darkened streets. During a quickened pace to track a curfew violator, Hall tripped over a large piece of metal and landed flat on his face, sending out a noise as loud as a gunshot. Still, Hall turned one corner into a well-lit parking lot and faced an Iraqi with an AK assault rifle. The man, who claimed to be security for the lot, and two other Iraqis found themselves surrounded by soldiers.

Locals are allowed to keep such weapons, but the man had pointed it at U. They finished their patrol by 3 a. Eddie Jones, 29, of Columbus, Ga. Staff Sgt.


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Dale Hall, right, and fellow troops from Company B, 1st Battalion, 37th Armored Regiment narrowly avoided a firefight with Iraqis who drew rifles when the soldiers patrolled down their street. The Iraqis told troops they thought the patrol was a group of thieves. Due to a switchover to a new comment system, this comment board is now closed. Home News. Baghdad at night: Potential danger on every corner.

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