Iraqi anti-government protesters Wednesday burned down an Iranian consulate in the southern city of Najaf. One protester was killed and at least 35 wounded when security forces fired live ammunition to prevent protesters from entering the building. No consulate staff was hurt.
This is the second time protesters have attacked an Iranian diplomatic mission. Earlier this month, protesters threw Molotov cocktails over the consulate walls in Karbala, but the fire did not catch.
The incident marked a sharp escalation in the protests that have raged in southern Iraq since October. The demonstrators are demanding an end to government corruption and what they perceive as increasing Iranian influence in Iraqi affairs.
The protests have grown increasingly violent, with demonstrators occupying buildings and bridges, and clashing with security forces who have used tear gas and live ammunition almost daily. More than 350 people have been killed and thousands more wounded since October.
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