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Seven dead in clashes between demonstrators in Najaf (medical source)

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — Seven protesters were shot dead on Wednesday evening in the southern city of Najaf after supporters of Shiite leader Muqtada al-Sadr, who supports Prime Minister-designate Muhammad Allawi, attacked a camp for anti-government protesters, according to a medical source.

The source reported that dozens of others were wounded, explaining that the dead protesters were shot in the head or chest.

Since Sadr announced his support for Allawi, there have been several confrontations between his supporters and other demonstrators in several cities, but without the use of weapons.

On Wednesday afternoon in Najaf, supporters of Sadr attacked a camp for protesters who have been calling since October 1 for a change in the political system and refuse to name Allawi, according to AFP correspondents.

In the evening, confrontations erupted between the two sides before the security forces intervened, burning tents in which protesters were staying.

In consequence, Allawi called on Twitter the resigned Iraqi government to “play its part to protect the demonstrators.”

In Diwaniyah (south), hundreds of people demonstrated in the evening, launching anti-Sadr slogans, according to a reporter for France Press.

On Tuesday, Sadr called on his supporters to support the security forces, which have been trying to reopen closed schools and departments for weeks, as part of a “civil disobedience.”

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