Iraqi interior minister replaces Najaf police chief amid unrest: reports

Logo of Iraqi Interior Ministry. File photo.

Najaf ( The Iraqi interior minister ordered on Sunday to replace the police chief at the southern province of Najaf as protests intensify there and at other southern regions over unemployment and poor public services.

Iraqi Dijah TV said Minister Qassem al-Aaraji removed Najaf police chief Majed Kazim and replaced him with Alaa Gharib.

Iraqi media reports said protesters had stormed the Najaf airport and briefly caused a disruption in flights movement, and also stormed the provincial council. They also said security imposed a curfew at the province in a bid to contain the expanding demonstrations.

Protests hit the provinces of Maysan, Karbala, Najaf, Babil, Wassit, Diwaniya and Dhi Qar over the past week demanding enhanced public services and priority for Iraqi labor at oil companies operating there.

Two protesters were killed in Najaf on Saturday as members of Asaeb Ahl al-Haq Shia militia shot at demonstrations, according to Iraqi press reports.

Alsumaria News broadcaster had quoted social media users saying there were issues with internet services across the protests-hit regions.


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