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Iraq UN calls for an end to the senseless loss of life

The UN has appealed for an end to the senseless loss of life in Iraq as the death toll from anti-government demonstrations approaches one hundred

Campaigners say they are taking a stand against joblessness, poor public essential services and dishonesty in the nation.

Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, leader of the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq, said: "Five days of deaths and injuries have to cease.

Those guilty of the loss of life should be brought to justice. She said.

On Saturday, security forces broke up a mass rally in the east of Baghdad.

Five citizens are said to have perished in the latest clashes in the capital. Security forces are again reported to have used live rounds and tear gas.

At least 99 people have perished, and nearly 4,000 have been wounded since protests began in the capital on Tuesday before spreading to the south of Iraq, the Iraqi parliament's human rights commission says.

It is the deadliest unrest since the so-called Islamic State (IS) group was declared defeated in Iraq in 2017.

It is seen as the earliest major test to Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi's fragile government, nearly a year since he came to power.

The authorities have been trying to control the protests through curfews and a near-total internet blackout.