1 October: Spontaneous Cluster
Spontaneous clusters of more than 1,000 people made their way to the streets of Baghdad and several other governorates in southern Iraq, to protest against corruption, unemployment and poor government services. This is considered the first mass demonstration against Adil Abdul-Mahdi’s government, nearly a year after its formation.
Demonstrators gathered at Baghdad’s Tahrir Square, in a movement that seemed spontaneous. Protesters chanted slogans against Iraq’s dependence on Iran. Riot police dispersed crowds using water cannons, tear gas and rubber bullets.
Security forces also fired live ammunition as protesters tried to regroup, and were determined to march towards the Green Zone, where the governmental buildings and foreign embassies are located, and killed a number of people.
2 October: Spread of demonstrations
Protests spread across southern, northern, and western Baghdad, where thousands of protesters participated in the demonstrations. In Baghdad, police tried to disperse crowds in about five districts by firing tear gas and live bullets.
Protesters tried to reach Tahrir Square, which security forces had cordoned off. Demonstrators set fire to tires and blocked main roads while security authorities closed the Green Zone.
Riot police fired live ammunition during the demonstrations in the southern cities of Najaf and Nasiriyah.
Iraqi authorities imposed a curfew in Baghdad and several other cities, but demonstrators ignored it.
3 October: Clashes in Baghdad
There were violent clashes when thousands of protesters violated the curfew and took part in demonstrations in Baghdad and southern cities.
Security forces fired live bullets in the air and on the ground from machine-guns mounted on military vehicles.
Protester blocked streets and set fire to tires in front of governmental offices in several cities, including Maysan, Najaf, Basra, Wasit and Babylon.
About 75% of the Internet in the country was cut off in a move that human rights organizations considered deliberate to prevent coverage of the protests.
Amnesty International has condemned the "atrocity" of the "heinous" security forces through the use of "lethal and unjustified force."
In his first public address since the protests broke out, Abdul- Mahdi defended his government's achievements and asked for more time to implement the reform agenda.
4 October: Support from Al-Sistani
Prime Minister Adil Abdul- Mahdi ordered the lifting of a government-enforced curfew in Baghdad. It was not clear if curfews put in place in other cities throughout Iraq over the ongoing unrest would also be lifted.
Dozens of protesters, wearing masks while hoisting Iraqi flags since early morning gathered in Baghdad where they arrived on trucks and buses.
Security forces deployed in large numbers to enforce the curfew, again preventing access to Tahrir Square.
Iraq's top Shi'ite religious authority in Karbala confirmed its support for the protesters' demands.
Senior cleric Ali al-Sistani, called for "getting things done before it is too late."
Al-Sadr Calls for snap elections
Shia leader Muqtada Al-Sadr, whose coalition had won the largest number of seats in last year's elections, called for the government to resign and for a snap election to be held. Al-Sadr had earlier urged legislators to suspend their parliamentary membership and boycott sessions until the government responds to the protesters' demands.
Iraqi Human Rights Commission has reported that the death toll has increased to 73, including six members of the security forces, with more than 3,000 others injured. A total of 540 demonstrators have been arrested, of whom nearly 200 remain in custody, the commission added.