NAJAF, Iraq (NBC) – Anti-government protesters burned down an Iranian consulate building in southern Iraq Wednesday.
Protesters torched the consulate in the holy city of Najaf.
One protester was killed and at least 35 people were wounded when police fired live ammunition to prevent them from entering the building, a police official said.
The demonstrators removed the Iranian flag from the building and replaced it with an Iraqi one.
Iranian staff were not harmed and escaped the building from the back door and authorities imposed a curfew in Najaf.
The incident marked an escalation in the demonstrations that have raged in Baghdad and across the mostly Shiite southern Iraq since October 1st.
The protesters accuse the Shiite-led government of being hopelessly corrupt and complain of poor public services and high unemployment.
They are also decrying growing Iranian influence in Iraqi state affairs.