At least seven protesters were injured early Monday in clashes with security forces in Iraq’s Dhi-Qar governorate.

A senior officer from the Interior Ministry told Anadolu Agency that police used live bullets after tensions between the demonstrators and security forces escalated.

Reinforcements have been sent by security forces to the town of Al-Rifai and a curfew was declared in the region to bring the situation under control.

Iraq has been roiled by mass protests since last October over poor living conditions and corruption, forcing Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi to resign.

More than 500 people have been killed and 17,000 injured in the protests so far.

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