A series of explosions ripped through central Baghdad on Friday night, and appeared to target protests which have raged since early October, killing at least three people. Some unconfirmed reports have cited four dead and a dozen wounded in a developing situation where the casualty toll is expected to climb.
The final in a string of blasts was identified according to early reports and video as a car bomb in Tahrir Square, which did the worst damage, killing and wounding multiple protesters.
"A large number of people injured by the booby-trapped car bomb were taken by the drivers of the Tek-Tik wheels to hospitals near Tahrir," a source told Arabic media. Another blast was reported in nearby Tayaran Square as well, which may have also resulted in casualties.
Though anti-corruption and anti-government demonstrations have witnessed violent clashes with police, resulting at this point in over 300 dead and an estimated 15,000 wounded, the bombing escalates things to a new level of violence.
Some among the string of blasts as well as the aftermath caught on video:
In the moments before the explosions Tahrir Square appeared packed with tens of thousands of demonstrators.
Both protest leaders and international media have blamed security forces for the ratcheting violence due to occasions where they've used live fire to disperse crowds.
Pro-Iran Iraqi militias have also been blamed for attempting to brutally put down protests.
Alternately, pro-Iranian politicians and military leaders in Baghdad have blamed the United States and Israel for fueling unrest in order to curtail Iranian influence.
The bombing will most likely escalate the intensity of protests as Iraq stands of the brink of possible renewed sectarian civil war.