Iraq News - Local News - Baghdadpost

Gunfights breakout in southern Iraq as protests spread nationwide

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 Gunfights between protesters and security forces broke out in the southern Iraqi city of Nassiriya on Wednesday, with elite counter-terrorism troops deploying after police “lost control” of the situation, police sources told Reuters.

 

Two protesters had been killed in the city on Wednesday and one on Tuesday after police opened fire to disperse protests.

Five people were killed overall and at least 132 wounded on Wednesday in renewed nationwide clashes between demonstrators and Iraqi security forces, the largest display of public anger against Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi’s year-old government.

 

Domestic instability coupled with regional tensions could prove to be the final nail in the coffin of Abdul Mahdi’s fragile coalition government, sworn in last year as a compromise between rival factions after an inconclusive election.

The protests, which started on Tuesday over unemployment, corruption, and poor public services, have escalated, with many chanting for the “fall of the regime”, a slogan first popularized during the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings.

“We are demanding a change, we want the downfall of the whole government,” said one protester in Baghdad who declined to identify himself for fear of reprisal.

Domestic instability coupled with regional tensions could prove to be the final nail in the coffin of Abdul Mahdi’s fragile coalition government, sworn in last year as a compromise between rival factions after an inconclusive election.

The protests, which started on Tuesday over unemployment, corruption, and poor public services, have escalated, with many chanting for the “fall of the regime”, a slogan first popularized during the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings.

“We are demanding a change, we want the downfall of the whole government,” said one protester in Baghdad who declined to identify himself for fear of reprisal.

In Kut, protesters tried to break into the municipality building. Hundreds were out on the streets of Hilla and Diwaniya while dozens gathered in the Shi’ite holy city of Najaf.

Thousands gathered in the oil-rich city of Basra but the protests were peaceful. There were peaceful protests in Samawa.

Small protests also took place in the northern cities of Kirkuk and Tikrit, as well as the eastern province of Diyala.







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