Four civilians, security personnel wounded while dispersing protest, north of Basra

Iraqi security forces stand guard inside the west Qurna 2 oilfield, during a protest in north Basra, Iraq July 14, 2018. REUTERS/Essam al-Sudani

Basra ( Four civilians and security personnel were wounded during an attempt by troops to disperse a protest that was staged, north of Basra, a police source said on Tuesday.

Speaking to Almaalomah website, the source said, “a huge protest was staged near al-Qurna oilfield, north of Basra, to voice demands of jobs and better services.”

Protesters, according to the source, “tried to break into the oilfield, which urged the Rapid Response troops, to fire live ammunition in the air to disperse the demonstrators.”

The protesters “responded by hurling stones after firing, which left two conscripts wounded,” the source said, adding that “army jets were flying above the protest area and the oilfield. The protest is still staged.”

Last month, security troops forcibly dispersed two sit-ins staged by protesters outside the provincial council and Qurna oilfield in Basra, preventing the protesters from setting up the tents outside the council.

Mass protests are being staged since July against poor services offered by the government and corruption.

The demonstrations started 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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