"Any steps taken so far to address the people's concerns will remain hollow, if they are not completed", said Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert in a statement issued by the UN "Violent suppression of peaceful protesters is intolerable and must be avoided at all costs".
Mass anti-government demonstrations have continued in Baghdad and other cities in central and southern Iraq since early October, demanding comprehensive reform, fight against corruption, better public services, and more job opportunities.
Separately, protesters closed the Badrat Mehran and al-Sheib border crossings with Iran as part of the intensifying demonstrations against the Iraqi government and Iranian influence in the country, the Saudi Al Arabiya television network reported.
Hundreds descended on nearby Tayaran Square, where they clashed with security forces who fired tear gas and live rounds to disperse them, an AFP journalist said. More than 450 people have been killed.
Young men wearing helmets and gas masks to protect themselves from flying tear gas canisters set up metal barricades in the street to try to push the riot police back.
They have called for early elections under a new voting law, an independent prime minister and for all corrupt officials to be held accountable.
Young protesters are also apprehensive about a rival protest on January 24 organised by firebrand cleric Moqtada Sadr in order to pressure U.S. forces to leave.
Fearing widespread rallies, provincial authorities across southern Iraq announced an official holiday on Monday.
In Shiite holy cities of Karbala and Najaf, in southern Iraq, protesters burned tires and blocked main roads, halting traffic - the same tactic was used in Baghdad and elsewhere in the south the previous day.
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In the protest hotspot of Diwaniyah, they shut key roads both inside and leading out of the city.
On Jan. 13, demonstrators in Nasriyah, the capital of Dhi Qar province, and other Iraqi cities announced a period of one week for the political blocs to form a new government.
Since October, around 460 people have lost their lives to protest-related violence and another 25,000 have been wounded, according to an AFP count.
Authorities do not provide updated casualty numbers.
Protesters had feared Iraq would be caught in the middle of the geopolitical storm and last Monday gave the government one week to make progress on reform pledges. Those killings prompted days of political turmoil across the region and Iraq that led to Iraqi lawmakers calling for a US troop withdrawal.
Video footage circulating on social media appeared to show an area near the complex, where emergency sirens could be heard blaring.
Supporters of the influential Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr say they are organizing a mass protest this week supporting calls for the ousting of American troops from Iraq in response to the USA drone attack.
Tensions in Iraq have risen since the United States assassinated Qassem Soleimani, an Iranian military commander, in Baghdad. "The people know what you're doing", he said, adding ominously: "Tomorrow the deadline ends, and then things could get totally of control".
While the rallies initially railed against the economy, they quickly escalated to demand a total overhaul of government.