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Iraq Gov’t Cuts off Internet Nationwide amid Fears of mass Massacre

Iraq Gov’t Cuts off Internet Nationwide amid Fears of mass Massacre
Iraq’s government cut off internet access nationwide, imposed curfews and declared a state of emergency on Thursday amid widespread protests aimed at toppling the country’s regime.

12 people were killed and more than 400 were wounded in the largest demonstration In Iraq's modern history against Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi's government.

The government also blocked social media platforms Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, as well as messaging application WhatsApp across Iraq.                                     

A police officer and another protester were killed on Wednesday night in southern Iraq, a health official said, bringing the death toll in two days of violent protests to seven.

Domestic instability 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.

Counter-terrorism troops were deployed to Baghdad airport where its men fired live ammunition and tear gas at protesters, preventing them from storming the facility.

It is noteworthy that a number of Iraqi Provinces are witnessing demonstrations since Tuesday, especially the capital, Baghdad. The angry demonstrations against corruption were renewed this morning to demand reform.


US Department of State has shortly announced that they are closely following up the development of demonstrations in Iraq, and calling on all parties in Iraq to stop the tension

Meanwhile, Iraqi National Security Council confirmed the right of citizens to express their demands, rejecting using acts of sabotage.

It added that all government efforts will be harnessed to meet demonstrators’ demands

High alert

On the other hand, Iraqi government sources announced that all Iraqi forces are on high alert to counter the growing number of protesters using live bullets and tear gas to disperse demonstrators in Baghdad.

Hundreds of anti-riot forces deployed in Tahrir Square and main roads to prevent large protests.

Despite the massive security measures, hundreds of protesters continued to take to the streets, and set fire to tires and garbage containers, in addition to attempting to storm the local government building in Najaf City.

Iraq is now facing a new period of political instability that led the deterioration of economic and social conditions

Demands of Protesters

The protests, organized on social media, started in Tahrir Square on Tuesday, initially driven by economy woes. They began peacefully, calling for an end to corruption, improved basic services and more jobs. But they soon turned violent after security forces fought back demonstrators with water cannons, tear gas and live ammunition.

The protests appear to be spontaneous and without political leadership, organized by people on social media against corruption and lack of basic services, such as electricity and water.

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