Iraq’s “Day of Rage” turned violent as security forces fired at demonstrators, killing at least 12 people Friday. Ten demonstrators were killed in northern Iraqi cities, as security forces opened fire on crowds. In a protest in Anbar province, two people were fired on and killed. Protest organizers had hoped for a peaceful protest, designed to demand better government rather than a new one, but Prime Minister Nouri-al-Maliki approached the movement with anxiety. Maliki claimed the protests were organized by Saddamists and al Qaeda, and police searched protesters trying to enter Baghdad’s Tahrir Square and closed off the plaza and side streets with razor wire. Iraqi Army helicopters circled, while Humvees and trucks took up posts throughout the square, where roughly 3,000 protesters waving flags shouted in unison, "No to unemployment," and "No to the liar al-Maliki."
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