Thursday’s bloodshed began when the young gunman opened fire in Baghdad’s Wathba Square, killing two shop owners and four protesters.. Security officials said the teen was wanted by police on drug-related charges and was running from security forces at the time.
An enraged mob beat the young man to death, security and health officials said. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations. At least eight people were wounded, the officials said.
Influential Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr called those who killed the teen “terrorists” and warned that if they were not identified within 48 hours, he would order his militia to leave the square. Members of Saraya Salam, or Peace Brigades, are deployed in the square to protect protesters. Protesters refer to them as the “blue hats.”