Bombs kill five in southern Baghdad as nationwide protests continue

Explosions didn’t appear to be related to demontrations

Iraqi security forces are seen as they clash with demonstrators during ongoing anti-government protests, in Baghdad, Iraq November 26, 2019. REUTERS/Khalid al-Mousily
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Five people were killed and more than a dozen wounded in three simultaneous explosions that rocked Baghdad late on Tuesday, Iraqi officials said.

It was the first apparently co-ordinated attack since anti-government protests erupted nearly two months ago, but it did not appear to be related to demonstrations.

It was not immediately clear who was behind the bombings, but they bore the hallmarks of an ISIS attack. The terrorist group has a history of similar attacks in the capital and other provinces.

Iraq declared victory over the extremists nearly two years ago but they are still in parts of the country and carry out sporadic attacks.

Security officials said at least three people were killed and five wounded in an explosion in the south-western Baiyaa neighbourhood on Tuesday evening.

Two died and four were injured in north-eastern Shaab City, and four were hurt in Baladiyat, south-east of Baghdad.

The officials said two bomb-laden motorcycles and a roadside explosive device were used in the attacks.

They occurred far from Baghdad’s Tahrir Square, one of the focal points of weeks of anti-government protests that have posed the biggest security challenge to Iraq since the defeat of ISIS.

Security forces killed three protesters and wounded at least 80 on Tuesday as demonstrations raged in Baghdad and across southern Iraq.

The demonstrators accuse the government of corruption and complain of poor public services and high unemployment.

Security and hospital officials said two protesters in Baghdad were killed when security forces fired live ammunition and rubber bullets.

In southern Iraq, a protester was killed when security forces fired live rounds after a day of sit-ins and road closures.

Protesters, most of them teenagers, carried one of the killed demonstrators to a tuk-tuk for medical help, AP reported.

Another protester died near the banks of the Tigris River, close to Ahrar bridge.

Protesters are occupying parts of the key Jumhuriya, Ahrar and Sinak bridges in a standoff with security forces that began last Thursday.

More than 350 people have been killed and about 15,000 have been wounded since the start of October.