U.S. embassy in Iraq condemns violence against protesters - statement

The U.S. embassy in Baghdad condemned on Wednesday the killing and kidnapping of unarmed demonstrators by security forces, and urged Iraq's leaders to engage urgently with the thousands who have been protesting against the government.
"We deplore the killing and kidnapping (of) unarmed protesters, threats to freedom of expression, and the cycle of violence taking place. Iraqis must be free to make their own choices about the future of the nation," it said in a statement.
Security forces shot dead at least 13 protesters in the 24 hours to late Tuesday, dispensing with weeks of relative restraint in favor of trying to stamp out anti-government demonstrations.
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