The Latest: Iraq official: Protester dies in bridge clashes

1 / 3

Iraq Protests

People walk through Khilani Square after protesters took control and reopened it after clashes between Iraqi security forces and anti-government demonstrators in Baghdad, Iraq, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)

BAGHDAD (AP) — The Latest on Iraq’s anti-government protests (all times local):

8:35 p.m.

Iraqi security and medical officials say a protester has been killed by a direct hit to the head from a tear gas cannister amid fresh clashes on a strategic Baghdad bridge.

The officials said 32 others were wounded Sunday, hours after protesters retook control of half of Ahrar Bridge. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.

Ahrar Bridge leads to the other side of the Tigris River near the heavily fortified Green Zone, the seat of Iraq’s government.

Security forces had deployed on the other side of the bridge and erected concrete barriers to keep protesters from pushing into the area.

Demonstrators had taken control of these bridges earlier this month but were later repelled when security forces took harsh suppressive measures.

___

11:30 a.m.

Anti-government protesters in Iraq have closed some roads in response to a call for a strike from an influential cleric.

The protesters are also trying to expand their presence in the Iraqi capital further after seizing control of a strategic square in central Baghdad.

Protesters in Baghdad’s sprawling Sadr City neighborhood on Sunday blocked roads in an effort to keep employees from getting to their workplaces, snarling traffic in some areas.

The roadblocks are in response to a call by influential Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr for a voluntary strike.

Protesters are also trying to reach the Ahrar bridge, after seizing part of the Sanak bridge and the strategic Khilani square in central Baghdad, as they continue to try to get to the heavily fortified Green Zone, the seat of government.