The Latest: Protesters block section of Baghdad airport road

People pass by a damaged police checkpoint on their way to join protests, in Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019. Iraqi security forces fired live bullets and tear gas against protesters in Baghdad, Thursday. This came hours after a curfew was announced in the Iraqi capital amid deadly violence gripping the country and anti-government protests that killed over 18 people this week. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)
Anti-government protesters gather for a demonstration in Tahrir Square, in central Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019. Iraqi security forces fired live bullets and used tear gas against a few hundred protesters gathered in central Baghdad on Thursday, hours after a curfew was announced in the Iraqi capital on the heels of two days of deadly violence that gripped the country amid anti-government protests. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)
Iraqi security forces close a bridge leading to the Green Zone while anti-government protesters gather for a demonstration in Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019. Iraqi security forces fired live bullets and used tear gas against a few hundred protesters gathered in central Baghdad on Thursday, hours after a curfew was announced in the Iraqi capital on the heels of two days of deadly violence that gripped the country amid anti-government protests. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)
A protester and a street vendor who sells drinks stand near closed shops after a curfew was announced, in Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019. Iraqi security forces fired live bullets and tear gas against protesters in Baghdad, Thursday. This came hours after a curfew was announced in the Iraqi capital amid deadly violence gripping the country and anti-government protests that killed over 18 people this week. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)
People walk on a closed street after a curfew was announced, in Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019. Iraqi security forces fired live bullets into the air and used tear gas against a few hundred protesters in central Baghdad on Thursday, hours after a curfew was announced in the Iraqi capital on the heels of two days of deadly violence that gripped the country amid anti-government protests that killed and wounded civilians. (AP Photo/Ali Abdul Hassan)
Anti-government protesters gather for a demonstration in Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019. Iraqi security forces fired live bullets and used tear gas against a few hundred protesters gathered in central Baghdad on Thursday, hours after a curfew was announced in the Iraqi capital on the heels of two days of deadly violence that gripped the country amid anti-government protests. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)
Iraqi security forces try to disperse anti-government protesters in Tahrir Square, in central Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019. Iraqi security forces fired live bullets and used tear gas against a few hundred protesters gathered in central Baghdad on Thursday, hours after a curfew was announced in the Iraqi capital. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)
People use a cart and a tuk-tuk to move around after a curfew was announced, in Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019. Iraqi security forces fired live bullets into the air and used tear gas against a few hundred protesters in central Baghdad on Thursday, hours after a curfew was announced in the Iraqi capital on the heels of two days of deadly violence that gripped the country amid anti-government protests that killed and wounded civilians. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)
Anti-government protesters flash v-signs during a demonstration in central Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019. Iraqi security forces fired live bullets and used tear gas against a few hundred protesters gathered in central Baghdad on Thursday, hours after a curfew was announced in the Iraqi capital on the heels of two days of deadly violence that gripped the country amid anti-government protests. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)
In this Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019 photo, an injured protester receives treatment at a hospital after being injured during anti-government protests in Baghdad, Iraq. Iraqi security forces fired live bullets into the air and used tear gas against a few hundred protesters in central Baghdad on Thursday, hours after a curfew was announced in the Iraqi capital on the heels of two days of deadly violence that gripped the country amid anti-government protests that killed and wounded civilians. (AP Photo/Ali Abdul Hassan)
Iraqi security forces close a main road leading to the Green Zone while anti-government protesters gather for a demonstration in Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019. Iraqi security forces fired live bullets and used tear gas against a few hundred protesters gathered in central Baghdad on Thursday, hours after a curfew was announced in the Iraqi capital on the heels of two days of deadly violence that gripped the country amid anti-government protests. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)
Iraqi security forces block a road leading to the Green Zone while anti-government protesters gather for a demonstration in Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019. Iraqi security forces fired live bullets and used tear gas against a few hundred protesters gathered in central Baghdad on Thursday, hours after a curfew was announced in the Iraqi capital on the heels of two days of deadly violence that gripped the country amid anti-government protests. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)
Iraqi security forces close a bridge leading to the Green Zone while anti-government protesters gather for a demonstration in Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019. Iraqi security forces fired live bullets and used tear gas against a few hundred protesters gathered in central Baghdad on Thursday, hours after a curfew was announced in the Iraqi capital on the heels of two days of deadly violence that gripped the country amid anti-government protests. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)
Anti-government protesters gather for a demonstration in Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019. Iraqi security forces fired live bullets and used tear gas against a few hundred protesters gathered in central Baghdad on Thursday, hours after a curfew was announced in the Iraqi capital on the heels of two days of deadly violence that gripped the country amid anti-government protests. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)
Anti-government protesters gather for a demonstration in Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019. Iraqi security forces fired live bullets and used tear gas against a few hundred protesters gathered in central Baghdad on Thursday, hours after a curfew was announced in the Iraqi capital. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)
Iraqi security forces, seen through a burned police booth, close a bridge leading to the Green Zone while anti-government protesters gather for a demonstration in Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019. Iraqi security forces fired live bullets and used tear gas against a few hundred protesters gathered in central Baghdad on Thursday, hours after a curfew was announced in the Iraqi capital on the heels of two days of deadly violence that gripped the country amid anti-government protests. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)
An Injured protester walks towards Tahrir square to join anti-government protesters in central Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019. Iraqi security forces fired live bullets and used tear gas against a few hundred protesters gathered in central Baghdad on Thursday, hours after a curfew was announced in the Iraqi capital. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)
Iraqi security forces close a bridge leading to the Green Zone while anti-government protesters gather for a demonstration in Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019. Iraqi security forces fired live bullets and used tear gas against a few hundred protesters gathered in central Baghdad on Thursday, hours after a curfew was announced in the Iraqi capital on the heels of two days of deadly violence that gripped the country amid anti-government protests. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)
An Injured protester walks towards Tahrir square to join anti-government protesters in central Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019. Iraqi security forces fired live bullets and used tear gas against a few hundred protesters gathered in central Baghdad on Thursday, hours after a curfew was announced in the Iraqi capital. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)

BAGHDAD — The Latest on developments on violence gripping Iraq for the third straight day amid anti-government protests (all times local):

9:40 p.m.

Iraqi officials say anti-government protesters in the Iraqi capital have blocked a section of Baghdad’s international airport road and torched two local government buildings farther north.

A police official said dozens of protesters burned tires and sat on the ground, blocking on Thursday the road to the airport from downtown Baghdad near al-Amel district, despite an open-ended curfew in the wake of three days of protests. The official said the lane out of the airport into town remained open. 

A police official and a health worker said other protesters in Baghdad’s northern suburbs of Taji and Sabaa al-Bour have stormed municipal offices and torched them.

All the officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief reporters.

Protests have gripped Baghdad and other cities since Tuesday led by demonstrators complaining of a corruption-riddled economy and demanding the government step down.

Security forces have responded with live ammunition and tear gas since Tuesday, killing at least 30 protesters.

But there was no immediate security response to the three incidents after dark Thursday.

_ By Sarah El Deeb

___

8 p.m.

An Iraqi medical official says at least six protesters have been shot and killed in the southern city of Nasiriyah, south of the capital Baghdad, during anti-government rallies.

The official told The Associated Press the bodies of the protesters were brought to the local hospital after sunset Thursday. The protesters had defied a curfew imposed in the city, about 320 kilometers, or 200 miles, southeast of the capital, Baghdad. Protests have spread in Baghdad and towns and cities to the south since Tuesday. The new violence brings the death toll to 31, including 10 killed Thursday. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to brief the media.

The protesters have rallied behind calls to unseat the government, accusing it of corruption and failure to address deepening economic malaise. The security forces have responded with live ammunition, tear gas and water cannons while authorities cut the internet which protesters had used to organize.

_ By Sarah El Deeb.

___

4 p.m.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry has urged Iranian pilgrims to postpone their visits to Shiite holy sites in Iraq amid the turmoil in the neighboring Arab nation.

Thursday’s ministry statement appealed on the pilgrims to wait until “peace” returns to Iraqi cities and expressed hope the Iraqi government and nation, as well as political parties and groups, would help calm the disturbances “misused by foreigners.”

Every year some 2 million Iranian pilgrims visit Shiite holy cities on the day of Arbaeen, which this year falls on Oct. 19, for the annual commemoration marking the end of the mourning period for the martyrdom of Imam Hussein, the Prophet Muhammad’s grandson and a central figure in Shiite Islam.

Imam Hussein was killed in a climactic battle in Karbala in A.D. 680, which cemented the rift between Sunnis and Shiites.

___

2:45 p.m.

Iraq’s Foreign Ministry has summoned Iran’s ambassador to Baghdad to denounce his threat that Tehran would retaliate to an American attack anywhere in the world, including in Iraq.

The development comes as deadly protests have gripped Baghdad and spread since Tuesday to southern Iraqi provinces. So far, 19 people have been reported killed, including one policeman.

Thursday’s ministry statement said Iraqi official Abdul-Karim Hashem told Iran’s envoy, Iraj Masjedi, that American troops are in Iraq and the request of the Iraqi government.

It said Hashem told Masjedi that Iraq would not accept becoming an arena for international conflicts.

Masjedi recently told Iraq’s Dijla TV that if the Americans attack Iran, Tehran “will strike back anywhere, including (in) Iraq.”

Iraq has been caught in the middle of U.S.-Iran tensions in the Middle East, putting an additional strain on the fragile government in Baghdad that hosts thousands of U.S. troops and Iran-backed militias.

___

2:35 p.m.

Iraq’s state news agency says Parliament Speaker Mohammed al-Halbusi has invited representatives of the protesters to come to the parliament to discuss their demands.

The agency gave no further details but the move appears to be an attempt to calm down the protests that have gripped Baghdad and spread since Tuesday to southern Iraqi provinces.

Al-Halbousi’s comments on Thursday came as Iraqi security forces fired live bullets and tear gas against protesters in Baghdad despite a curfew that was announced in the Iraqi capital hours earlier.

The death toll from two days of protests has risen to 19, with most of the fatalities in southern Iraq.

___

12:40 p.m.

Iraqi medical officials say 10 people were killed in southern Iraq overnight, raising the death toll since anti-government protests erupted across the country earlier this week to 19.

The officials say five people were killed in the southern city of Amara and five others in the city of Nasiriyah late on Wednesday night.

They say the five dead in Nasiryah were four civilians and a policeman.

The officials also said on Thursday that 45 people were wounded in Amara, some of whom suffered wounds from rubber bullets.

The anti-government protests began on Tuesday and spread to most areas in southern Iraq a day later.

___

12:20 p.m.

An Iraqi official says Baghdad has closed a border crossing with Iran because of deadly unrest in Iraq amid anti-government protests in the Iraqi capital and several southern provinces.

The official says the Khesro border crossing with Iran in the eastern province of Diyala will remain closed until further notice.

Iran’s state television said the border was closed due to the “situation” in Iraq.

The Iraqi official said that also the al-Shib border crossing between the two countries was briefly closed overnight. The official spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.

There are nine border crossings between the two countries.

_Qassim Abdul-Zahra in Baghdad;

___

12:05 p.m.

Iraqi security officials say unknown assailants have shot and killed an Iraqi activist and his wife in the southern city of Basra.

The officials say Hussein Adel Madani, a cartoonist, was shot dead along with his wife, Sara Madani, by masked gunmen who stormed their house in the city early on Thursday amid ongoing unrest and protests gripping the country.

The well-known activists had been taking part in protests in the city Wednesday night. They were shot dead a few hours later. The couple has a two-year-old daughter, Zahra, who was unharmed.

There was no claim of responsibility for the attack, which is the latest in a string of assassinations targeting activists in Basra in the past year.

_Nabil Al-Jurani in Basra, Iraq;

___

9:30 a.m.

Iraqi security forces have fired live bullets and used tear gas against a few hundred protesters in central Baghdad, hours after a curfew was announced in the Iraqi capital on the heels of two days of deadly violence that gripped the country amid anti-government protests.

Before dawn on Thursday, explosions were heard inside Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone, home to government offices and foreign embassies. The U.S.-led coalition said an investigation is underway, adding that no coalition forces or assets were hit.

So far, at least nine people have been reported killed and hundreds have been wounded since the violence and clashes between security forces and anti-government demonstrators first erupted on Tuesday.

People also read these

UN chief returns to Cyprus peace talks to help...

Jul 6, 2017

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is attending Cyprus peace talks in Switzerland to help...

Greek foreign minister: Turkey wasn't ready for...

Jul 18, 2017

Greece's foreign minister says Turkey wasn't ready for an agreement during 10 days of high-level...

Cyprus: new gas deposit too small to exploit,...

Sep 12, 2017

Cyprus' energy minister says exploratory drilling off the island's southern coast has discovered a...

Russian-inspired party aims to revitalize Cyprus...

Oct 7, 2017

The vice president a new political party says the Russian Cypriots who inspired the movement aim to...

Israel expects gas to flow from east...

Dec 5, 2017

Israel's energy minister says a potential undersea pipeline carrying natural gas from deposits in...

About Us

Get a quick look at what’s happening in the world today with in-depth analysis on international news, politics, business and technology, only in Central News Today.

Contact us: sales[at]centralnewstoday.com

Subscribe Now!