By Ibrahim Salih
BAGHDAD (AA) – Iraq's Foreign Ministry on Monday decried an attack by protesters on the Iranian Consulate in the holy city of Karbala.
On Sunday, angry demonstrators attacked the consulate in the southern city, bringing down the Iranian flag and replacing it with Iraqi flag.
Three people were killed and 12 others, including security personnel, injured in the attack, according to Iraq's High Commission of Human Rights (IHCHR).
"The security of [diplomatic] missions and consulates is a red line that cannot be overstepped," the ministry said in a statement.
"Such practices will not impact friendship and neighborhood relations between the two neighboring countries," the ministry stressed.
Iraq has been rocked by a second wave of protests since last week against deep-seated corruption, unemployment and lack of basic services.
At least 260 people have been killed and 12,000 others injured since the demonstrations began on Oct. 25, according to IHCHR.
Anger has been building in Iraq in recent years due to rising unemployment and rampant corruption. Many people in the country have limited access to basic services such as electricity and clean water.
According to World Bank figures, Iraq's youth unemployment is around 25%. It is also ranked the 12th most-corrupt country in the world by several transparency organizations.
*Ahmed Asmar contributed to this report from Ankara