Iraq protests spread after 4 killed outside Iran consulate
Four protesters were shot dead early Monday (November 4th) outside the Iranian consulate in Iraq's holy city of Karbala where demonstrators vented their anger at what they see as Tehran's meddling in their country's politics.
The bloody unrest was part of a wave of ongoing protests against the Iraqi government which the demonstrators accuse of rampant corruption and blame for poverty and unemployment.
Late Sunday night, a crowd of protesters in Karbala gathered around the consulate of neighbouring Iran.
They tried to scale the blast walls, aimed fireworks at the building, hung Iraqi flags onto concrete fortifications and spray-painted "Karbala is free, Iran out, out!" on them.
As the crowd grew, heavy gunfire and volleys of tear gas rang out, and AFP correspondents witnessed protesters left motionless on the ground after suffering gunshot wounds.
The forensic medicine department later confirmed four protesters died after being shot.
Tehran has sought to reduce the protests next door, with sources reporting top Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) commander Qassem Soleimani making several visits to "advise" Iraqi authorities on coping with the rallies.
Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has also slammed the protests in Iraq and Lebanon.