BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraqi security forces killed two people on Wednesday by shooting tear gas canisters directly into their heads in an attempt to stop protesters entering Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone, security and medical sources said.

At least 175 people were wounded as protesters from across Iraq's sectarian and ethnic divides thronged the center of the capital in a show of fury at a political elite they see as deeply corrupt and responsible for widespread economic hardship.

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BAGHDAD (Reuters) - At least 40 protesters were killed in Iraq on Friday when security forces used tear gas and an Iranian-backed militia opened fire to try to quell renewed demonstrations against corruption and economic hardship, security sources said.

A government intelligence officer and a member of the powerful Asaib Ahl al-Haq militia were killed in a clash with protesters in the southern city of Amara, police sources said.

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(Reuters/Thair al-Sudani)

In the wake of escalating civil unrest and a wave of violent protests across Iraq, the American ambassador to the country has warned that the resignation of the prime minister may be imminent, Task & Purpose has learned.

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(U.S. Department of State photo)

Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Radio Free Europe/Radio Free Liberty.

Iranian media affiliated with various parts of the country's political spectrum have been trumpeting a rhetoric that blames U.S., Saudi Arabia and Israel for the widespread protests in Iraq.

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Iraqi Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, who's bloc came first, meets with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who's political bloc came third in a May parliamentary election, in Najaf, Iraq June 23, 2018. (Reuters/Alaa al-Marjani)

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - One of Iraq's most influential clerics called on Friday for the government to resign as the death toll rose to 65 in three days of violent national protests against official corruption.

Moqtada al-Sadr, a populist political leader who has a huge following on the Iraqi street, said new elections should be held soon.

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Demonstrators gather as they block the road with burning tires during a protest over unemployment, corruption and poor public services, in Baghdad, Iraq on October 2, 2019. (Reuters/Alaa al-Marjani)

Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Radio Free Europe/Radio Free Liberty.

The death toll from mass protests in Iraq against corruption and unemployment has risen to 18 as turmoil spreads to the south of the country.

Iraqis took to the streets for a third day on October 3 despite local curfews and police using tear gas and even live fire, in the biggest challenge yet to Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi's government.

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