At least three people are reported to have been killed and dozens wounded in clashes between police and demonstrators in southern Iraq.
The violence in the city of Kut comes after protesters took to the streets demanding better public services and living conditions.
Echoing the unrest in other parts of the Arab world, demonstrators were heard shouting “down, down with Maliki’s government”.
Government buildings, including the residence of the regional governor, were reportedly set on fire.
News agencies report that police managed to disperse protesters by firing shots into the air. A curfew was also declared, with roadblocks set up around the city.