Iraqi police end protests at southern oil fields: reports

Iraq suffers from acute financial crisis due to dropped oil prices and anti-terrorism expenses [File photo]

Basra ( Iraqi security forces have imposed control over protests at oil fields in Basra province,enabling employees at those sites to enter.

Mawazin News website said petroleum security troops controlled the situation at Rumeilah oil field and opened all gates for employees’ entry after the end of protests by local citizens demanding jobs.

The website said that security had earlier evacuated workers at Exxon Mobil, PetroChina, and Lukoil fro Qarna to Rumeilah fields using helicopters after demonstrators had encircled the offices.

Basra citizens had protested for improved services and employment over the past days. Earlier clashes this week had reportedly left one dead and several others wounded, prompting Iraqi President Fuad Masum to call for investigation.

Basra citizens are discontented with the fact that jobs at oil companies are held by foreigners and Iraqis from other provinces. Unemployment rates in Iraq are estimated by at least 30 percent, according to NGOs.

A statement by the oil ministry today said Minister Jabbar al-Luaibi ordered to secure 10.000 jobs for locals in Basra.

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