Iraqi PM arrives in Basra to quell angry protests

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi. File photo

Basra ( – Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi arrived in Basra Monday to quell bloody protests that have rocked the southern oil hub for a week over corruption and the lack of public services.

Abadi arrived in the oil-rich governorate, leading a high-level ministerial delegation, Iraqi website Alghad Press reported.

He is scheduled to hold a press conference at the end of the visit.

Basra restored on Sunday a state of calm after a week of bloody protests over unemployment and poor public services.

Municipality workers, aided by staffers from the Ministry of Oil and the civil defense department, were seen yesterday removing debris from the streets of the oil-rich region.

Basra has been hit by the most serious protests in years, with residents complaining of power outages, filthy tap water and soaring unemployment.

Protests have recently caused the province’s government office and the Iranian consulate to catch fire, prompting Iraqi authorities to impose a curfew in the province at 4 pm Saturday before lifting it later in the day.

Health authorities were quoted saying that violence left on Friday seven people dead and 50 others injured, including security men.

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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