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Iraq: third day of protests, the revolt continues despite the curfew

2019-10-03T14:01:15.348Z

The curfew in force from the early hours of the day in Baghdad was not enough to stop the violent social protests that have been going on for three days in the capital and that today have reached southern locations, with a provisional budget of 19 victims, while 75% of the country it is without internet. From the early hours of the day riot police officers fired shots into the air, and not only, to disperse hundreds of protesters who set fire to tires on a central square in Baghdad



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October 03, 2019It has risen to 19 deaths, including a policeman, and 130 wounded the death toll of the clashes that are accompanying the anti-government protests underway in Iraq since Tuesday. Local media reported, explaining that security forces are shooting at protesters despite the curfew imposed by Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi. Only last night 10 people died in the cities of Nassirya and Amara, in southern Iraq. Protests against the government accused of corruption and high unemployment rates, as well as asking for more basic services, started in Baghdad's majority Shiite neighborhoods and then spread to the south of the country.

Extended curfew
Iraqi authorities have imposed a curfew also in Najaf and in the Maysan governorate, in southeastern Iraq, after days of protests that resulted in violence. Iraqi television reported it. The restrictive measures will remain in force until further notice. From this morning the curfew is in force in the capital Baghdad.

In Baghdad real bullets
Security forces in the Iraqi capital Baghdad fired real bullets at protesters who defied the curfew in force. This was announced by the BBC's website. The prime minister explained that the permanent curfew - in effect since the dawn - is necessary to maintain order and protect protesters from "infiltrators". Thousands of people took to the streets to show their anger over rampant unemployment, poor services and corruption. The protesters, who seem to lack organized leadership, have reached the largest number since Adel Abdul Mahdi became prime minister a year ago. United Nations and United States have expressed concern about the violence and urged the Iraqi authorities to show demeanor.

Death balance
With these last victims, the budgets released by health sources confirm 19 deaths - of which one policeman - in three days and more than 130 wounded. Moreover, while the protests are expanding, access to the network has been blocked in three quarters of the national territory, as decided by the main telephony operators Earthlink, Asiacell and Zain. An internet interruption that first involved Baghdad, then the southern cities to reach 75% of the country, with the exception of the north which includes autonomous Kurdistan. The protesters reported that they were no longer able to post photos of the protests and slogans at the origin of the unpublished protest against the government in office for a year on the social networks, to denounce corruption, unemployment and the absence of essential public services.

Al-Halbusi's move
The president of the Iraqi parliament, Mohammed al-Halbusi, has invited representatives of protesters who have been protesting against the government for days to go to Parliament to discuss their demands. The official Iraqi news agency reported this, without adding further details. Al-Halbusi's move appears to be an attempt to calm the protests that shook Baghdad and the southern provinces and caused 19 deaths so far.

US Embassy in alarm
The US embassy in Iraq has suspended consular services, stating that the stop will remain in force until the curfew is lifted in the Iraqi capital. A note from the diplomatic representation gives an account of the "sporadic and spontaneous" demonstrations in recent days and of the blockade on the Internet in many areas of the Arab country. The embassy suggests that American citizens "avoid demonstration areas" and reiterates that travel to Iraq is not recommended.

Iranian Ambassador convened
The Iraqi Foreign Ministry has summoned the Iranian ambassador, Iraj Masjedi, who in recent days had declared that, if the US had attacked the Islamic Republic, Tehran would have reacted "everywhere, including in Iraq". A note reads that the Iraqi authorities have pointed out to the ambassador that US troops are in Iraq at the request of the government and that Iraq will not accept becoming a theater of international conflicts.

Activists killed at home
An Iraqi cartoonist was killed along with his wife, also a civil society activist, in the southern Iraqi city of Basra, in the context of the unrest for the popular demonstrations taking place in the country. The police of Basra reported that Adel and Sara Madani were killed by gunmen with a covered face who entered the victims' home. The double homicide does not seem to be closely linked to the ongoing unrest, but as the local media sources point out, the armed men exploited the moment of security degradation in the city to get rid of two figures long considered uncomfortable because they denounced the excessive power of the militias armed with Basra.

Source: rainews

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