Iraqis start sit-in outside Basra council, security reinforcements en route

Supporters of Iraqi Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr shout slogans during a protest demanding an overhaul of the elections’ supervision commission ahead of provincial elections due in September, in Baghdad,Iraq February 11, 2017. The banner reads: “Support for the reformer of Iraq Moqtada al-Sadr. We call yes. Yes for reforms.” REUTERS/Alaa Al-Marjani

Basra ( Iraqi demonstrators started a sit-in on Sunday outside the local council of Basra province as protests rage on at southern provinces over unemployment and poor services.

Kurdish-owned Shafaq News website quoted a security source saying that demonstrators staged a sit-in outside the provincial council, causing clashes with security forces and consequent injuries.

According to the source, protesters made a call for a massive demonstrations this afternoon in Basra.

The Iraqi government reportedly imposed a curfew in Basra late Saturday. Protests hit the provinces of Maysan, Karbala, Najaf, Babil, Wassit, Diwaniya and Dhi Qar.

Two protesters were killed in Najaf on Saturday as members of Asaeb Ahl al-Haq Shia militia shot at demonstrations, according to Iraqi press reports.

Alsumaria News broadcaster had quoted social media users saying there were issues with internet services across the protests-hit regions.

Meanwhile, Kurdish NRTTV quoted a security source saying on Sunday that military reinforcements were on the way to Basra to handle the unrest.

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