At least 24 people have been killed in Iraq on one of the bloodiest days since anti-government protests began last month, medics and officials say.

At least 20 people were killed when security forces opened fire to clear bridges occupied by protesters in the southern city of Nasiriya.

Another four protesters were killed on the strategic Ahrar Bridge in Baghdad.

Iraqis have been taking to the streets to demand more jobs, an end to corruption and better public services.

Protesters also set fire to the Iranian consulate in the holy city of Najaf late on Wednesday.

The Iraqi military has announced it is setting up military “crisis cells” to quell unrest. The military command said an emergency unit had been created to “impose security and restore order”.

At least 350 people have been killed and thousands wounded since the unrest began.

Source:bbc.com

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