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At Least Two Killed In Iraqi Protests In Baghdad's Green Zone

At least two Iraqis have been killed and dozens of others injured in clashes between security forces and protesters in Baghdad.

Iraqi officials said on May 21 that two people died of gunshot wounds suffered when security forces fired their guns in efforts to disperse a crowd that had breached the heavily armed Green Zone in central Baghdad on the night of May 20.

It added that 57 people were injured.

Hospital sources said earlier on May 21 that four people had been killed and 90 injured, Reuters reported.

Security officials also used tear gas, water cannons, and sound bombs against the thousands of protesters, who entered government buildings that included the office of Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi.

It was the second time in three weeks that demonstrators were able to break into the Green Zone, where parliament and many embassies are also located.

The protesters -- who included supporters of the powerful Shi'ite Muslim cleric Muqtada al-Sadr -- are angry about the government's failure to approve anticorruption reforms and improve security in the country.

Sadr later on May 20 issued a statement in support of the protesters and condemning the use of force against them by security forces.

But Abadi condemned the demonstrators in a late-night speech, saying that "the law must take its course with every transgressor."

Based on reporting by AP, Reuters, and AFP