Iraqi security forces used excessive force during protests, 157 killed - report

Iraqi security forces used excessive force during protests, 157 killed - report
FILE PHOTO: Demonstrators gather during a protest after the lifting of the curfew, following four days of nationwide anti-government protests that turned violent, in Baghdad, Iraq October 5, 2019. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani/File Photo -
Thaier Al-Sudani(Reuters)
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BAGHDAD (Reuters) – A total of 157 people, mostly civilians, were killed because Iraqi security forces used excessive force and live fire to quell a wave of anti-government protests, a government committee tasked with investigating the violence has found.

State television cited on Tuesday the committee’s official report which found that 149 civilians and eight members of the security forces were killed.

The report said the committee found evidence of sniper fire targeting protesters from atop a building in central Baghdad.

It blamed senior security officials for losing command and control over their forces and recommended the Baghdad operations commander and other senior officials be sacked.

(Reporting by Ahmed Rasheed and Ahmed Aboulenein; Writing by Ahmed Aboulenein; Editing by Jon Boyle)

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