Updated at 7:50 p.m. EDT, June 21, 2010
At least one Iraqi was killed and 39 more were wounded in the latest violence. Rioting over power cuts spread to Nasariya were residents attacked police guarding the province’s government compound. Electricity Minister Karim Waheed was forced to resign. Also, Turkish troops are amassing at the border during operations against the PKK.
Electricity riots spread to Nasariya, where 26 policemen were injured. Four civilians were wounded as well. The demonstrators gathered at the provincial government compound and attacked police with stones and wooden bars. The police retaliated with tear gas, sound grenades and also used a water cannon. The protestors are calling for the resignations of the electricity minister, the Dhi Qar governor, and the provincial council over a lack of sufficient power to alleviate hot summer temperatures. The high in Nasariya yesterday reached 120 degrees Fahrenheit. A similar demonstration yesterday was quashed quickly when police arrested several people. Over the weekend, residents of Basra also staged demonstrations. The minister blamed Iran for some of the power cuts.
Turkish troops continued operations against the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in Turkey but have not ruled-out more cross-border incursions. Civilian Iraqis have been killed, wounded, or displaced by recent assaults from both Turkish and Iranian troops chasing separate Kurdish rebel groups. The PKK has been fighting a guerilla war against Turkey for almost 30 years. The group ended a unilateral truce this month after Ankara ignored their attempts at peace talks and failed to institute significant reforms that would give Kurds more rights.
In Mosul, the Iraqi Interior Minister Jawad al-Bolani visited the city to assess the security situation. Gunmen killed a civilian. No casualties were reported after mortars struck the al-Hadbaa Faculty building. A bomb wounded three policemen.
A booby-trapped motorcycle exploded in Baiji and wounded six civilians.