This week, Basra, Iraq’s third largest city, was shaken by massive anti-corruption protests. People are outraged by corruption, constant power cuts and pollution of urban water supply.
The riots in Basra are caused by the pollution of the water supply with salt water, resulting in 30 thousand people in the hospital, prolonged power outages, when daytime temperatures regularly reach 50 degrees Celsius, as well as constant unemployment and constant modern Iraq – rampant corruption, reports the Guardian.
In recent days, Protestants have attacked the offices of state Iraqi television and set fire to the headquarters of the ruling Dawa party, the Supreme Islamic Council and Badra, whose leaders are seeking to form the ruling coalition of Iraq.
Protesters also set fire to the offices of the strong armed group Shia, Asa’ib al-Haq and the Hekma movement and stormed the house of the acting head of the provincial Council.
Human rights activists accused the security forces of opening fire on the demonstrators, while the government accused the provocateurs of the crowd and stated that the troops were ordered not to use live rounds.
According to a medical officer and a security officer, three demonstrators were shot dead by the security forces. They spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to provide information.
According to The Iraqi independent high Commission for human rights, 12 civilians have been killed since the beginning of the month as a result of the confrontation between the demonstrators and the police, which stated that 93 more civilians and 18 security personnel were injured.
A provincial official for state Iraqi ports told the newspaper that the authorities had closed the vital port of Um Qasr in the Persian Gulf, fearing sabotage. The official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because wasn’t authorized to publish this information, didn’t tell when work of port will resume.
Recall that the events in Iraq continue from July. The center of the protest was the oil – rich southern province of Basra, where the only seaport in Iraq is located. Basra produces 80 per cent of Iraq’s crude oil exports. As a result of the protests, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi dismissed the head of the Ministry of electricity.