By Devin Watkins
Dozens of Iraqi protesters gathered in the Shi’ite holy city of Karbala on Sunday night.
They set tires ablaze and attacked Iran’s local consulate.
Demonstrators chanted slogans like “Iran out, Kerbala remains free”.
Some threw firebombs over the walls, others scaled the concrete barriers, and an attempt was made to take down the Iranian flag flying on the property. They didn’t succeed.
Iraqi security forces showed up and mowed down dozens of protesters with live fire, killing 3 people and wounding 19 others.
The incident is the latest in a series of protests that have rocked Iraq since early October, in which hundreds of people have died.
Most of the anger is directed at Iraq’s government, which people increasingly consider corrupt and beholden to foreign interests.
But protesters are increasingly directing their ire at neighboring Shi’ite Iran.
Analysts say the spread of anti-Iranian sentiment within Shi’ite parts of Iraq means people are beginning to care less about sectarian identity and more about economic concerns.
Despite the country’s great oil wealth, many Iraqis live in poverty and lack access to clean water, healthcare, or education.
Pope Francis recently called on all people in Iraq to pursue the path of dialogue, not violence.