Megan Gaffney
The Faster Times
February 25, 2011

The unrest sweeping across the Mideast and the Arab world deepened its grip on Iraq today as tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets in 10 cities across the nation and security forces turned violent in attempts to rein in the demonstrations. Protesters burned buildings, stormed government establishments and tore down concrete walls. Security forces fired into crowds, killing at least four and wounding dozens.

The demonstrations spread from north to south and east to west, reaching the northern town of Masul, where two protesters were killed, and stretching to Basra in the south, neither area a stranger to violence. In the western town of Ramadi, the day after a suicide bomber killed 11 people, another eight were wounded and one was killed in clashes between security forces and 250 demonstrators. Just north of Baghdad in Saladhi Province, five people were wounded by gunfire.

The Iraqi government went to the great lengths to limit the demonstrations in Baghdad, issuing a traffic ban that kept many of the 6 million residents from reaching the capital. Yet, a crowd of thousands still managed to tear down a concrete wall securing a bridge leading to Baghdad’s secure “green zone”. Security forces responded by beating several of the offenders, and successfully blocked entry onto the bridge while protesters threw rocks at them.

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