Protests Spread Through Southern Provinces; 7 Killed, 57 Wounded in Iraq

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi met with officials in Basra to discuss the growing demonstrations that began in Basra province this week, and promised to fulfill the protesters’ wishes for better services and jobs.

To underscore the significance of the oil and service protests, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani came out in support of the demonstrators, but rejected the violence. Also, the Turkmen Front called on the government to listen to protesters and ensure services in Kirkuk province.

The demonstrations expanded into several provinces, including Babil, Dhi Qar, Karbala, Maysan, Muthanna, and Najaf. Residents of Baghdad also staged a rally.

In Maysan province, just north of Basra, where two people were killed, and 18 more were wounded; a Dawa party office was set ablaze.

Several demonstrators were injured as they stormed the airport in Najaf.

More injuries were reported during protests near the governor’s home in Nasariya; at least 36 security personnel were wounded.

In Basra, at least one protester was killed.

Violence unrelated to the protests also occurred:

A bomb in Khanaqin wounded two people.

Four militants were killed in Naft Khana.

Overall, at least seven people were killed and 57 were injured across Iraq. The number of injuries from the protests is expected to be higher.

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Author: Margaret Griffis

Margaret Griffis is a journalist from Miami Beach, Florida and has been covering Iraqi casualties for Antiwar.com since 2006.