November 12, 2019 / 6:24 PM / 3 months ago

CORRECTED-Pompeo 'deplored' the death toll at protests in phone call with Iraqi PM -State Dept

(Corrects spelling of Iraq prime minister’s name in first paragraph)

WASHINGTON, Nov 12 (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a phone call with Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi “deplored the death toll” among protesters due to the crackdown of the Iraqi government and urged him to take immediate steps to address demonstrators’ demands, State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said on Tuesday.

Iraqi security forces on Monday shot dead two protesters in the city of Nassiriya, bringing to 300 the number of people killed since protests against political corruption, unemployment and poor public services erupted in Baghdad on Oct. 1 and spread to the southern Shi’ite heartlands.

Reporting by Lisa Lambert and Humeyra Pamuk Editing by Chris Reese

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