Iraqi authorities tighten security in the country's southern provinces after the attack and arson of the Iranian consulate in Najaf.
increased measures were taken in Basra and Karbala, where Iranian consular missions are also located, The Baghdad Post reported.
Meanwhile, a curfew was imposed in Najaf after the attack on the consulate. A group of protesters set fire to the entrance to the building. Flames of fire spread to the rest of the building.
Firefighters are trying to cope with the fire, the consulate building is completely de-energized. According to Alsumaria News TV channel, after the attack on the Iranian mission, the security forces completely left the complex and are now not being guarded by anyone.
Meanwhile, there is still a group of demonstrators in front of the building, which is trying to obstruct the passage of fire engines to the burning building.
In connection with the situation in the city on Thursday, a day off for employees of all state institutions, with the exception of the health and internal affairs bodies, was announced there.
This is not the first time that Iraqis have attacked the buildings of the Iranian consulates in the country in protest against Tehran’s policies and interference in Iraq’s internal affairs, but for the first time this happened in Najaf.
The Iranian consulate in Basra had repeatedly burned earlier. After one of the fires, the diplomatic mission moved to another building. Attempts were also made to attack the consulate in Karbala.
In early November, a group of aggressive-minded young people tried to infiltrate the Iranian consulate, but met with stiff resistance from the security forces.
Tehran has repeatedly called on the Iraqi authorities to take the necessary measures to ensure the security of diplomatic facilities. After the last attempt to storm the consulate in Karbala, Iranian diplomats called on compatriots to refrain from visiting Iraq, including from pilgrimage to the holy places of Islam, located in this city.
Protests in Iraq have not stopped since the beginning of October, when people began to take to the streets, dissatisfied with worsening living conditions, high youth unemployment and corruption.
Demonstrations are accompanied by violence and unrest almost everywhere. Protesters demand the resignation of the government and the holding of early parliamentary elections. More than 350 people died during the riots, more than 15 thousand were injured.