Death toll in Maysan protests rises to three: health spokesman

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

Maysan ( – The death toll from random shooting in protests in Maysan governorate rose to three as two more injured demonstrators breathed their last at a Maysan hospital late Saturday following mass protests over poor public services and corruption in the southern governorate.

The Baghdad Post quoted Ahmed al-Kanani, a spokesman for Maysan’s health directorate, as saying that “two more protests succumbed to their wounds Saturday night after Iraqi security forces had randomly opened fire at them in al-Omara city in central Maysan, taking the total number of deaths to three.”

Earlier, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi ordered placing security forces on high alert and imposing a curfew in several southern provinces in a bid to quell the unrest as it entered its seventh day.

Iraq was on the verge of forming a coalition government following the May 12 parliamentary election, which was marred by allegations of fraud.

Mass demonstrations against unemployment, corruption and poor services spread further across southern Iraq, particularly in Basra, prompting Abadi to rush from a NATO summit in Brussels to Basra to meet with local officials and tribal leaders in a bid to restore calm.

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