Curfews and internet blockages as death toll from protests mounts in Iraq

Iraqi police fire teargas at protesters during a demonstration against state corruption, failing public services and unemployment at Tayaran square in Baghdad on October 2, 2019. - Iraq's president and the United Nations urged security forces to show restraint after two protesters were killed in clashes with police that other top officials blamed on "infiltrators." (Photo by AHMAD AL-RUBAYE / AFP) (Photo by AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP via Getty Images)

(CNN)Curfews and internet blockages have been imposed in parts of Iraq, as officials react to mass protests against unemployment, government corruption and lack of basic services.

In multiple cities, clashes between protestors and security forces have turned violent. At least eight people have died and more than 300 left injured this week, said Ali Akram al-Bayati, a member of the Independent High Commission for Human Rights of Iraq, to CNN.
He said two protestors died in Baghdad, four died in Nasiriya and two died in Maysan province, while 50 members of the Iraqi security forces were among the injured.
    On Wednesday, authorities ordered curfews in the capital of Baghdad, and in the southern city of Nasriya. Internet access was also cut across much of the country, according to internet monitoring service Netblocks.
    Before announcing the curfew in Baghdad, Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi held an emergency meeting with members of the national security council to discuss the "unfortunate events," according to a statement released by his office Wednesday.
    "The Council stressed that appropriate measures should be taken to protect citizens and public and private properties," the statement said, adding that the government will make all efforts "to meet the legitimate demands of the demonstrators."
    Iraqi protesters stand next to burning tyres during a demonstration in Baghdad on October 2, 2019.