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Iraq protests: Curfew imposed in Baghdad amid widespread unrest

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Media caption Violent clashes erupt in Baghdad between police and anti-government protesters

A curfew is in effect in the Iraqi capital Baghdad after a second day of clashes between anti-government protesters and security forces.

The restrictions will remain in place until further notice. Curfews had already been declared in three other cities as protests over lack of jobs, poor services and corruption escalated.

The violence has left at least seven people dead and hundreds wounded.

Social media platforms and internet access have been blocked in some areas.

The nationwide protests, which appear to lack any organised leadership, are the largest since Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi took office a year ago.

Blaming unnamed "rioters" for the unrest, the government vowed to address protesters' concerns.

What are the curfew conditions?

In a statement, Mr Abdul Mahdi said "all vehicles and individuals are totally forbidden to move" in Baghdad from 05:00 (02:00 GMT) on Thursday.

Travellers to and from the city's airport, ambulances, government employees in hospitals, electricity, and water departments, and religious pilgrims were exempt from the curfew.

Restrictions had already been imposed in the southern cities of Nasiriya, Amara and Hilla.

Media captionProtesters and security forces face off in Najaf

The UN has called on the authorities to exercise restraint. "Every individual has the right to speak freely, in keeping with the law," UN special representative Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert said.

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