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Deadly explosion goes off in Baghdad

At least two people are killed in blast, with 12 others wounded, Iraqi security sources say
Iraqi protester waves national flag in Baghdad during anti-government demonstrations on 14 November (AFP)

An improvised explosive device went off in Baghdad's Tayaran Square, killing two people and wounding 12, Iraqi security sources said late Friday, Reuters news agency reported. 

It was not immediately clear if the incident was related to ongoing anti-government protests in the capital's nearby Tahrir Square. 

Samya Kullab, a reporter with the Associated Press in Baghdad, said on Twitter that the two people who were slain were protesters. 

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She also said the blast had occured about 500 metres from Tahrir Square, and damaged several cars in the area. 

It was not immediately clear how the bomb was detonated and no group has yet taken responsibility. 

Since 1 October, thousands of protesters have taken to the streets in Baghdad and across the country's south to denounce governmental corruption, unemployment and a lack of services. 

Earlier on Friday, Iraqi security forces fatally shot at least three protesters during demonstrations in the capital, according to the AP news agency. 

Witnesses said that protesters tried to bring down a concrete wall security forces had put up to stop people in Tahrir Square from marching to nearby Khilani Square.

Forces fired live rounds and tear gas in an attempt to supress the demonstration, witnesses said. 

Since the start of the protests, Iraqi security forces have killed at least 330 people and wounded thousands in a crackdown on the demonstrations.