“Baghdad police chief said that protesters attacked security forces with Molotov [cocktails], but later Baghdad’s Operation Commander office said it was a result of a quarrel between the protesters and shop owners,” Ali Al Bayati, a member of the Iraqi Human Rights Commission told The National.

The injured demonstrators were transported to a hospital using tuk-tuks that became a symbol of the protest movement last year.

Retailers quarrelled with demonstrators after attempting to re-open their businesses as the government eased coronavirus-related curfew hours ahead of Ramadan – expected to start later this week — according to a statement from the Baghdad Operations Command.

The statement said that the “shop owner’s relatives, armed with three AK-47 rifles, arrived from Khilani Square and opened fire at the protesters in Tahrir Square.”

Reasons behind this uncertainty are due to lack of thorough investigation and accountability for such incidents and crimes, Mr Al Bayati said.
“There is no official security control around the capital and finally a security vacuum is being exploited,” Mr Al Bayati said.

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