Iraqi gov’t spokesperson: Corruption groups ignite clashes between protesters, security

Protesters block the road to Iraq’s Umm Qasr port, south of Basra, Iraq July 13, 2018. REUTERS/Essam al-Sudani

Baghdad ( The Iraqi government spokesperson has accused corrupt groups of taking advantage of protests staged in the southern provinces to ignite confrontations between protesters and security troops.

Speaking to the Russian Sputnik news agency, Saad al-Hadithi, spokesperson for the government, said, “we had information from the intelligence as well as reports from security services that showed individuals working in small groups to take advantage from the protests in order to ignite confrontations between protesters and security services.”

Those people, according to Hadithi, “have links to organized crimes and corruption groups, which were highly harmed due to the measures taken by the government against them.” The government is working on containing the situation while respecting the right of peaceful protesting.

Mass protests were staged on Friday, while hundreds of Iraqis stormed the airport, suspending the fights due to poor services offered by the government and corruption.

Several civilians as well as security personnel were wounded in clashes with armed people, who attacked the protesters in Maysan province.

On Saturday, two protesters were reportedly killed in Najaf on Saturday as members of the Shiite militia of Asaeb Ahl al-Haq were shot at the demonstrations.

Issues with internet services were reported across the protests-hit regions.

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