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Basra protests continue: 6 protesters shot dead, 3 maimed, ops commader requested replaced

Six Iraqi protesters killed in clashes with security forces in Basra

BASRA ( – Six Iraqi protesters were killed while 60 others were injured Tuesday in clashes with security forces in Iraq’s southern oil hub Basra.

According to BasNews website, the clashes erupted after protesters stormed the Basra government building and set it alight, prompting security forces to open fire at them, leaving two protesters dead and at least 60 injured.

In turn, Iraqi authorities imposed a curfew in the southern province to contain clashes between the two sides.

The demonstration comes a day after an Iraqi protester was killed in confrontations with security forces yesterday.

Earlier in the day, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi ordered a probe to be opened into the murder of the Iraqi protester.

“Our directives to security forces are clear. Do not fire live bullets at protesters,” Abadi told a weekly press conference.

Oil-rich Basra is one of the southern Iraqi cities that have recently witnessed mass protests over the dire state of the nation’s economy. The demonstrators are rallying against poor public services and corruption.

The demonstrations started last July in Basra province, but they later extended to other cities, including Amara, Nasiriya, Karbala and the Shiite holy city of Najaf. There were also protests in parts of the capital, Baghdad.

Basra Provincial Council Head orders gov’t bldg evacuated

[IraqiNews] Head of the Basra Provincial Council Walid al-Kitan ordered evacuating the government building in Basra from staffers “for security reasons.”

“The evacuation process came as a precautionary measure after a protester was killed yesterday while taking part in a rally in Basra,” a security source said.

Thousands of demonstrators gathered outside the Basra provincial headquarters Monday to protest against corruption, poor public services and unemployment.

Protesters hurled stones, set fire to tires and tried to storm the building, prompting security forces to open fire at them, leaving a protester dead.

Three protesters wounded, as security troops disperse demonstrations in Basra

Basra ( Three protesters were wounded on Tuesday as Iraqi security troops attempted dispersing demonstrations near Basra provincial building, BasNews reported.

According to sources from inside the city, security troops opened fire against protesters near the provincial building, as they were urging investigations on the killing of Yasser Mekki, a demonstrator, who was killed on Monday after being tortured by governmental forces.

Earlier today, sources was quoted saying that head of the Basra Provincial Council Walid al-Kitan ordered the government building in Basra to be evacuated from staffers for security reasons.

At least ten protesters suffered asphyxia due to tear gas highly used by the troops.

On Tuesday, protesters by Basra residents were renewed near the building. They also took part in the funeral of Mekki.

Troops used live ammunition on Monday to disperse the mass protests staged in Basra. Roads were blocked by tyres set on fire.

Late on Monday, the Iraqi High Commission for Human Rights immediate investigation on the murder of Mekki.

Several provinces in central and southern Iraq has been witnessing mass protests for more than two months to voice demands of better services including drinking water and electricity as well as countering corruption.

Observers believe protests and sit-ins will expand due to ongoing assaults by security forces against peaceful protesters and to voice demands of better services, especially in light of negligence by the government toward protesters demands and the security crackdown.

Basra governor requests operations commander be replaced

[IraqiNews] Basra governor Asaad al-Eidani requested Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to replace Basra Operations Commander Jamil al-Shammari as security forces were blamed for several deaths among protesters in the past period
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