Crowds of mostly young men stormed Baghdad's Green Zone walls with numbers swelling into the thousands rushing towards the prime minister's parliament building on Friday.
This led security forces to push through the crowd on foot, firing volleys of tear gas in an effort to push the people back from the gates.
An Associated Press reporter at the scene saw several protesters receive severe wounds and one was shot in the head. The violence prompted Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to impose a curfew.
The initial breach was largely carried out by supporters of powerful Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and followed repeated delays to proposed government reform legislation.