Iraq imposes new curfew in Basra amid violent protests

Iraq suffers from acute financial crisis due to dropped oil prices and anti-terrorism expenses [File photo]

Basra ( – Iraqi authorities imposed on Saturday a curfew in Basra governorate amid large protests against corruption and lack of basic services.

A security source told Baghdad Today website that the curfew imposed by Basra Operation Command in the governorate will be effective “as of 4:00 pm (local time).”

Meanwhile, the source noted that a security campaign will be launched soon in the governorate to arrest rioters involved in burning of building and state institutions.

Earlier in the day, spokesperson for the Iraq Security Media Center Yahia Rasoul said that Commander of Basra Operations Gamil al-Shamri was replaced by Rasheed Feleih as violence rages amid popular protests decrying poor services.

Rasoul blamed “severe damage to several facilities in the province” for the replacement decision.

Protests have recently caused the province’s government office and the Iranian consulate to catch fire.

Also, Rasoul revealed that four mortar missiles were fired on Basra Airport, but pointed that all of them fell near the airport’s outer fence.

Rasoul assured that aviation at the airport was not affected by the incident.

Demonstrators have voiced anger over water contamination and poor public services in the province, renewing earlier protests in July that followed the parliament polls held in May.

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