IRAQ

Iraqi PM’s speech unlikely to quell protests, FRANCE 24’s Simona Foltyn reports

Iraqi security forces on Friday used live ammunition and tear gas against protesters who defied a curfew in Baghdad and in southern cities as the death toll from four days of mass protests rose to at least 40.

Defying curfews, tear gas and live rounds, thousands of demonstrators gathered across the country to vent anger over corruption, unemployment and poor services in the biggest challenge yet to Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi.

The embattled premier made a televised speech early Friday as heavy gunfire rang out across Baghdad, saying there was no “magic solution” to Iraq’s chronic governance problems and graft but pledging to try to pass a law granting poor families a basic income.