At least four protesters and one policeman have been killed in the Iraqi capital during a rally by thousands calling for an overhaul of the electoral system, according to Baghdad's governor.
Iraqi security forces fired tear gas and rubber-coated bullets at thousands of supporters of Muqtada al-Sadr, an influential Shia leader, who were demonstrating on Saturday near Baghdad's Green Zone to press for electoral changes.
At least 320 protesters and seven police officers were wounded as violence gripped the rally.
The Associated Press news agency, quoting hospital officials, said the officer died of a bullet wound.
"There were seven dead as a result of the violence. Two of them are from the security forces and the other five are protesters," a police colonel told AFP news agency on condition of anonymity.
He put the number of people hurt in the chaos at more than 200.
Sadr has accused the elections commission of being corrupt and called for the commission's members to be changed, according to a statement from his office.
Rising to his call to protest, demonstrators gathered near the Green Zone - a cluster of embassies and government buildings - to demand an overhaul of the commission that supervises elections before a provincial vote due in September.
Riot police fired tear gas when the crowd tried to move towards the zone, which also houses international organizations and the homes of prominent politicians.
Shots rang out in central Baghdad as security forces used live fire and tear gas to disperse the crowds.
Read 17539 times