Despite yesterday’s promises from Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, security forces were reported to once again shoot at protesters in Basra. At least two protesters were killed and 20 people were wounded on Wednesday.
Rioters attempted to set fire to government buildings again on Wednesday, while protesters also blocked the commodities port at Umm al-Qasr, preventing the passage of trucks bearing supplies. Col. Gen. Jameel al-Shamari, the commander of Basra Operations Command claims unknown gunmen and gangs are to blame for the violence, not security forces. Contaminated water supplies were the source of the current protests; however, demonstrations calling for jobs, better infrastructure, and less corruption began in July. Although Basra contributes a significant portion of Iraq’s oil wealth, many of its citizens live in poverty. No promises to alleviate any poor conditions has, so far, been kept.
Including the Basra casualties, at least 13 people were killed, and 29 were wounded in recent violence. Elsewhere:
A bomb wounded two people in Jalawla.
Four militants were killed in Khalidiya.
Read more by Margaret Griffis
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