BAGHDAD — Anti-government protesters crossed a major bridge in Baghdad on Monday, approaching the prime minister’s office and the headquarters of Iraq’s state-run TV, as security forces fired live ammunition and tear gas, killing at least five demonstrators and wounding dozens.
The protesters hurled rocks and set tires and dumpsters ablaze, sending clouds of black smoke into the air. Security forces flooded into the area to protect government buildings, and gunfire echoed through the streets.
Dozens of motorized rickshaws raced back and forth, ferrying the wounded to first aid stations at the main protest site in Tahrir Square.
For days, the protesters have been trying to cross the Tigris River to the heavily fortified Green Zone, where the government is headquartered. Security forces have fired tear gas and rubber bullets to push them back from barricades on the Al-Joumhouriyah and Al-Sanak Bridges, but they managed to break through on the Al-Ahrar Bridge farther north.