Hundreds of Iraqi protesters remained in Baghdad's central square in Tahrir on Sunday, countering a bloody crackdown that killed at least 60 people over the weekend and one night attacked by security forces seeking to disperse them.
Demonstrators continued to rally in the capital despite the rapidly increasing death toll, with 63 being killed according to figures from the semi-official Iraqi High Commission on Human Rights.
"We are here to bring down the whole government, to destroy everyone!" a protestor, with Iraqi tricolor wrapped around his head, was quoted by the AFP news agency.
"We don't want any of them. No [parliamentary speaker Mohammed] Halbusi, not [Prime Minister Adel] Abdul Mahdi. We want to bring down the regime," he added.
Students can also be seen joining demonstrations in Baghdad, with activists saying that a dozen schools and universities have decided to close their doors and participate in the protests. Massively
Young girls in school uniforms and backpacks were spotted walking in tear-gas-strewn streets.
Iraqi elite counter-terrorism service was deployed in Baghdad on Sunday to protect important government buildings.
The forces said in a statement that the move was "protecting state buildings from undisciplined elements, advancing security forces engaged in protest and protest protection."
On Saturday, security forces fired tear gas and opened fire on thousands of protesters trying to reach Baghdad's Green Zone, home to government offices and embassies.
Three protesters were killed when tear gas canisters struck Baghdad, while three others were shot dead in the southern city of Nasiriya after they attacked a local employee's home.
The protests are a continuation of economically driven demonstrations that began in early October and turned deadly after security forces began firing and using live ammunition. Since then, at least 1
The demonstrations are the biggest challenge so far of Prime Minister Abdul Mahdi's government, which has vowed to address the protesters' complaints by rearranging its cabinet and delivering a package of reforms.
The moves have done little to quell the protesters, but whose anger is focused not only on the Mahdi Administration but also on the broader political organization of Iraq, which they believe has failed to improve the lives of the citizens of the country.
Many view the political elite as subordinate to one or the other of the two major Iraqi. ie The United States and Iran are forces they believe are more concerned with regional influence than the needs of ordinary Iraqis.
Nearly three-fifths of Iraq's 40 million people live on less than six dollars a day, World Bank data show, even though the country has the world's fifth-largest proven oil reserves .
Al Jazeera and news agencies