Iraqi security: 65 protesters apprehended in Muthanna rallies

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

Muthanna ( – Iraqi security forces have arrested 65 protesters in Muthanna governorate as demonstrations over poor public services and corruption across southern Iraqi provinces entered their eighth day.

In remarks to the Iraqi Mawazin website on Monday, a security source said, “65 protesters were apprehended while taking part in a rally in Muthanna governorate.”

The source pointed out that “the protests are sill ongoing in the governorate.”

On Sunday, an Iraqi protester was killed, while 15 others were injured in mass demonstrations in Muthanna governorate.

The protesters also set fire to some headquarters of political parties.

Mass demonstrations against unemployment, corruption and poor services spread further across southern Iraqi provinces, prompting Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to rush from a NATO summit in Brussels to Basra to meet with local officials and tribal leaders in a bid to restore calm.

The demonstrations started last week 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.

Iraq was on the verge of forming a coalition government following the May 12 parliamentary election, which was marred by allegations of fraud.

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