At least 12 anti-government demonstrators were killed on Sunday in ongoing protests in the capital Baghdad, the latest fatalities in six days of clashes that have left more than 100 dead and thousands wounded.
Iraq’s government has scrambled to contain the popular anger that has racked Baghdad and a number of southern cities since Tuesday.
Security forces responded with a crackdown on the spontaneous rallies of demonstrators demanding jobs, better services and an end to endemic corruption in the oil-rich country.
In the first official statement from the government accounting for the violence, Interior Ministry spokesman Saad Maan said on Sunday that 104 people had been killed in the six days of unrest, including eight members of the security forces, and more than 6,000 wounded.
He said an investigation was underway to determine who was behind the most deadly day of violence, in Baghdad on Friday.
The unrest is the most serious challenge facing Iraq in the two years since defeat of the ISIS terror group.
The chaos also comes at a critical time for the government, which has been caught in the middle of increasing US-Iran tensions in the region.
Iraq is allied with both countries and hosts thousands of US troops, as well as powerful paramilitary forces allied with Iran.