Protesters have returned to the streets in Iraq, sealing streets with burning tires and threatening further escalation at a time of difficult economic conditions.
Demonstrations were reported across Baghdad, the holy cities of Karbala and Najaf, as well as the western cities of Nasiriyah, Diwaniyah, Kut, and Wasit on Sunday.
The capital alongside several southern cities began witnessing protests calling for political and economic reforms last October, but they had thinned out in recent weeks in the wake of US assassinations and airstrikes.
On Sunday, young protesters descended on Baghdad’s Tahrir Square and nearby Tayaran Square, burning tires to block highways and bridges and turning back cars and causing traffic jams across the city.
Footage showed protesters throwing projectiles and rocks at police officers who tried to clear the sit-ins. Medical and security sources said at least 10 people including police officers were wounded.
Riots were also reported in the cities of Kut, Diwaniyah and Amara, where most government offices, schools and universities have been shuttered for months.
In the holy city of Najaf, a number of young protesters in checkered black-and-white scarves lit tires and blocked a main road leading to the capital.