(CNN)At least 63 people have died as protests intensify in Iraq, with security forces using tear gas and live bullets to repel demonstrators Saturday, a member of the Independent High Commission for Human Rights of Iraq told CNN.
Death toll in Iraq protests climbs to 63 since Friday
Ali Akram al-Bayati said three people were shot dead in Al Nasiriya, and another three people died from injuries in Baghdad after they were hit in the head by tear gas canisters fired by security forces.
More than 2,592 people have been injured since protests flared again Friday, over unemployment, government corruption, and a lack of basic services.
Saturday's violence comes a day after 12 people were killed at the Badr political party office in the southern Iraqi city of Diwaniya after it was set ablaze. Iraqi security forces said they were investigating the fire.
Kareem al-Nouri, a member of the Badr political party in Baghdad, confirmed to CNN that the attack had taken place and that no Badr staffers were among the dead.
Iraq's Joint Operations Command said in a statement released Friday that security forces will deal with criminal saboteurs firmly according to "anti-terrorism law."
"While the country is witnessing demonstrations to demand rights guaranteed by the Iraqi constitution, some have exploited these demonstrations by killing citizens and injuring others, burned and looted public and private property without any conscience," the statement added.