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Iraq officials: 2 protesters killed in Baghdad clashes

Iraqi medical and security officials say clashes between protesters and security forces in central Baghdad have killed two people and wounded 42.

The officials say the casualties occurred on Thursday in the Khilani area near Tahrir Square, which has been witnessing protests for weeks.

They spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.

Iraqi security forces try to disperse anti-government protesters in downtown Baghdad, Iraq, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019. (AP PhotoHadi Mizban)

The protests have mostly been taking place in Baghdad and the predominantly Shiite southern provinces.

At least 320 people have been killed and thousands have been wounded since the unrest began on Oct. 1, when angry protesters took to the streets in the tens of thousands.

The protesters are outraged by what they say is widespread corruption, lack of job opportunities and poor basic services, including electricity cuts, despite the country’s vast oil wealth.

An anti-government protester is overcome by tear gas fired by riot police during the clashes, in Khilani Square, Baghdad, Iraq, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019. (AP PhotoKhalid Mohammed)

An anti-government protester throws water as another prepares to throw back a tear gas canister fired by police, during ongoing protests in Baghdad, Iraq, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019. Protesters say an intensifying crackdown by Iraqi authorities is instilling fears but remain defiant with calls for millions to return to the streets this week. (AP PhotoHadi Mizban)