Six Iraqi protesters killed in clashes with security forces in Basra

Protesters gather near the main provincial government building in Basra, Iraq July 15, 2018. REUTERS/Essam al-Sudani

BASRA ( – Six Iraqi protesters were killed while 60 others were injured Tuesday in clashes with security forces in Iraq’s southern oil hub Basra.

According to BasNews website, the clashes erupted after protesters stormed the Basra government building and set it alight, prompting security forces to open fire at them, leaving six protesters dead and at least 60 injured.

In turn, Iraqi authorities imposed a curfew in the southern province to contain clashes between the two sides.

The demonstration comes a day after an Iraqi protester was killed in confrontations with security forces yesterday.

Earlier in the day, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi ordered a probe to be opened into the murder of the Iraqi protester.

“Our directives to security forces are clear. Do not fire live bullets at protesters,” Abadi told a weekly press conference.

Oil-rich Basra is one of the southern Iraqi cities that have recently witnessed mass protests over the dire state of the nation’s economy. The demonstrators are rallying against poor public services and corruption.

The demonstrations started last July in Basra province, but they later extended to other cities, including Amara, Nasiriya, Karbala and the Shiite holy city of Najaf. There were also protests in parts of the capital, Baghdad.

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