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Hundreds of Iraqis continue protests at southern oil fields


Basra (IraqiNews.com) Hundreds of Iraqis resumed protests on Saturday near oil fields in the country’s south, demanding enhanced services and employment.

Iraqi Mawazin News Agency said hundreds of tribes outside the Majnoon oil field northeast of Basra province demanding job opportunities, replacing foreign labor at oil companies with Iraqis, enhanced potable water and electricity supplies.

Over the past week, protesters at some southern provinces, including Basra, invaded airports, local councils and main roads protesting poor services and unemployment.

One protester was killed the past week during clashes with security in Basra as demonstrations swept through Dhi Qar, Diwaniyah, Maysan, Karbala and Babil provinces, prompting the Iraqi president to urge for calm and respect for protesters demands.

Also in Najaf, the province’s airport administration said flights resumed late Friday after angry protesters stormed it.

A statement by the airport’s board accused “government officials and political parties with economic objectives” of “engineering a conspiracy against the airport”, as it put it.

Late Friday, a meeting by the ministerial security council, chaired by Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, concluded that unrest during the protests was the making of “infiltrators”, vowing to “take deterrent legal measures” against those.

Iraqi economy has been ravaged by a three-year war against Islamic State militants, coupled with unstable world petroleum prices, the country’s main income source.


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