Death toll from Iraq unrest rises to 44

Iraqi protesters gather amidst garbage and debris on October 4, 2019 during demonstrations against state corruption, failing public services, and unemployment in the Iraqi capital Baghdad's central Khellani Square. AFP

The death toll from three days of anti-government protests in Iraq climbed to 44, police and medical sources told Reuters on Friday.

The largest number of casualties occurred in the southern city of Nassiriya, where 18 people were killed, followed by the capital Baghdad where the death toll stood at 16, they said.

The protests, in which hundreds of people have also been injured, began over unemployment and poor services but have escalated into calls for a change of government and pose one of the country's biggest security challenges in years.

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