Unknown assailants fired live ammunition into a crowd of protesters in Baghdad killing fifteen people and wounding dozens more according to reports from the Iraqi capital.
Two of the dead were police officers,security and medical officials said, while 20 others were wounded.
Firing from multiple vehicles, the gunmen scattered the protesters at Khilani Square as they ran for their lives.
The attacks come a day after a string of stabbings left at least 13 wounded in Tahrir Square.
Hundreds of people have been killed and thousands injured since anti-government demonstrations started in early October.
More than a dozen members of the security forces have also been killed in the clashes.
Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi said he would resign last week after months of protests.
Iraq’s top Shia Muslim cleric said a new prime minister must be chosen without foreign interference in an apparent nod to Iranian influence after the shootings on Friday night.
Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani’s comments followed reports that a senior Iranian commander had been in Baghdad this week to rally support for a new government that would continue to serve Shia Iran’s interests.
He has repeatedly condemned the killing of unarmed protesters and has also urged demonstrators to remain peaceful and stop saboteurs turning their opposition violent. (Source: Independent UK)