Iraqi protesters clash with security forces in Basra over unemployment

Protesters gather near the main provincial government building in Basra, Iraq July 15, 2018. REUTERS/Essam al-Sudani

Basra ( – Fierce clashes have erupted between security forces and dozens of protesters outside an oil company in the oil-rich Iraqi city of Basra over high unemployment rates in the country, a well-informed source was quoted as saying.

The protesters have gathered outside the Basra Oil Company for 25 days, demanding job opportunities in the oil firms, the source told Dijlah TV channel on Tuesday.

They set fire to flammable materials, such as tires, during their protest, bringing the main Baghdad Street in Basra to a standstill, the source added.

The source pointed out that the recent escalation came after the government rejected their demands to get jobs at the oil firms.

Oil-rich Basra is one of the southern Iraqi cities that have recently witnessed mass protests over the dire state of the nation’s economy. The demonstrators are rallying against poor public services and corruption. They also demand job opportunities and better public services.

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