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Iraq: Armed Groups Use Hunting Rifles against Security Forces, Protesters

Iraq: Armed Groups Use Hunting Rifles against Security Forces, Protesters

Saturday, 22 February, 2020 - 08:15
An Iraqi demonstrator throws away a tear gas canister during the ongoing anti-government protests in Baghdad, Iraq November 22, 2019. REUTERS/Thaier al-Sudani
Baghdad - Asharq Al-Awsat

The Baghdad military operations office has said that armed groups were using hunting rifles to target security forces and anti-government protesters to create chaos.


“Security forces near the checkpoint that leads to Tahrir square have come under attack through different violent means that led to the injury of law enforcement officers,” the office said in a statement on Friday.


It urged peaceful protesters to cooperate with the office to stop such attacks by sharing information on the assailants so that they could be arrested and referred to the judiciary.


The United Nations warned this week that armed factions are shooting hunting rifles loaded with birdshot at peaceful protesters in Baghdad.


The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) said it had now received credible evidence of protesters being targeted with hunting rifles, stones and firebombs on the nights of February 14-16, leading to at least 50 injuries.


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