The protests of anger, described by some Iraqis as Second Revolution of the Twenties, spread in a big number of southern Iraqi cities in tenth day of unrest over services, amid expectations a new escalation during the coming few hours.
This came after a number of well-known tribal
leaders have participated in the protests
demanding the improvement of domestic living conditions, while terrorist militias launched a large-scale
arrest campaigns on Tuesday, targeting the activists participating in the current
Local sources told the Baghdad Post that the protests have been resumed at the early hours on Wednesday during the funeral of two dead protesters in Najaf and Maysan.
The upcoming few hours are expected to witness a new wave of unrest after a number of tribal leaders announced their participation in the current protests, following a meeting held in Karbala city late on Monday.
According to sources who confirmed that the silence of the Shia religious leaders over the protests means their absolute approval.
The tribal leaders considered the excessive use of violence and force against the protesters as blatant violation of all laws.
Iraqi security forces raided, on Tuesday night, dozens of protesters' homes in several cities, including, Ammar al-Nu'aimi, Safa al-Serai and Ali Khreibat, who took part in the week-long demonstrations to demand more jobs and better services, activists said.
Protests in the city of Basra, the provincial capital and Iraq's second-largest city, are not unusual in scorching summer weather but they boiled over last Tuesday, when security forces opened fire, killing one person and wounding five.
Within days the rallies spread to other provinces. In some places, protesters broke into local government buildings and burned the offices of some political parties.
In Najaf, the Iraqi forces arrested four protesters, who were tortured by members of the Iran-backed Asaib Ahl al-Haq militia, a source told the Baghdad Post on Wednesday.
He added that the Iraqi National
Intelligence Service (INIS) has arrested on Monday a number of
protests who were subjected to torture and assault.
In addition, Basra witnessed a large-scale arrest campaigns carried out by unidentified gunmen.
An Iraqi protester told The Baghdad Post that some activists receive calls from unknown numbers, and found arrested but they were shortly released after being tortured behind bars in prisons.
The arrests started on Sunday night, with police chasing protesters down main roads and alleys following demonstrations in the city of Basra, and also in the countryside and around oil fields.
The activists could not give a specific number for those arrested, saying only "hundreds."
They spoke on condition of anonymity, fearing for their safety. Officials were not immediately available to comment.