Protesters stage mass demonstrations in Basra, block border exit with Iran

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

Basra ( Tens of citizens in Basra, the third biggest Iraqi cities, staged mass protests on Sunday against assault by security forces against demonstrators as well as the poor services.

Protesters blocked Baghdad-Basra road and the one leading to al-Shalamja border exit with Iran. They threatened to block all the exit borders in the province, in case the government did not respond to their demands. They also urged penalizing personnel , who assaulted protesters, as well as corrupts. They also called for providing drinking water and better services.

Many citizens gathered at al-Shalamja border and changed slogans against the local and central government. Security troops cordoned off the protests, as the protesters gathered at Karmet Ali region and set tyres on fire on Baghdad road.

Local sources said tens of protesters set up tents to stage sit-ins.

Security forces fired live ammunition against protesters in Basra as demonstrators staged the protesters on Friday night, leaving many injured.

According to Ra’ed al-Fereiji, head of Basra tribes council, said in a statement that eight civilians were injured by Iraqi troops.

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.

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