Security forces in Iraq have raided protest camps in an attempt to remove anti-government activists, killing at least three. On Friday influential cleric Muqtada al-Sadr withdrew his support for the protest movement.
Iraqi security forces clashed with protesters in Baghdad, Nasiriyah and Basra on Saturday after authorities began to remove concrete barriers near anti-government demonstration sites.
Dozens of protesters were wounded in clashes with police and at least three protesters were shot dead.
Authorities advanced toward Tahrir Square in Baghdad, where the main protest camp is based, shooting live rounds and firing tear gas in an effort to disperse protesters.
The Baghdad Operations Command said security forces also reopened Mohamed al-Qassim highway and other roads near Tahrir Square.
Protesters' tents were also reportedly set alight as police tried to remove them in order to reopen public squares and at least one bridge over the Tigris River.
Demonstrators fear that their long-running campaign would be sidelined if they were cleared from the site at Tahrir Square.
Sadr withdraws support
The fresh clashes happened a day after populist Shiite politician and cleric Muqtada al-Sadr organized his own mass rally demanding US troops leave Iraq, before announcing that he would no longer back the protest movement.