The Iraqi authorities in Basra confirmed that the investigation into the assassinations of activists is continuing, warning that "outside the governorate" figures are trying to ignite discord, while Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi stressed on restoring citizens' confidence in the security services, amid international condemnation of the assassinations.
During his visit to the city of Basra in southern Iraq, Al-Kazemi stressed that the recent assassinations constitute a breach that does not tolerate him, and that fugitive weapons, assassinations and political interference in security work are all unacceptable practices.
The Prime Minister also said that "outlaw groups have been trying to terrorize the people of Basra for some time, and they pose a threat to them and all Iraqis," adding that citizens' confidence in the security services must be restored.
Al-Kazemi was accompanied on his visit by the Minister of Defense and Interior, the Chairman of the Popular Mobilization Authority, the Head of the Counter-Terrorism Service, the Head of the National Security Service, and the National Security Adviser.
For his part, Basra Governor Asaad Al-Eidani confirmed the continuation of the investigation into the assassination of activists, with direct follow-up from Al-Kazemi, and warned that there are those who want to ignite sedition in Basra, which are figures from outside the province, he said.
Two days ago, demonstrators stormed the parliament office in the city and set it on fire, denouncing the assassinations of a number of activists last week, and demanding the dismissal of the governor.
Meanwhile, the deputy from Basra Governorate, Faleh Al-Khuzaie, said that a joint meeting included the local government in the governorate and the police command in it, in addition to representatives in parliament, in which it was decided to activate investigation committees for targeting activists.
Al-Khuzai added during a joint press conference in Basra that everyone supports peaceful demonstrations, and at the same time confirms that whoever demonstrates carrying weapons is considered outlaw.
In Dhi Qar governorate in southern Iraq, local sources reported that demonstrators demolished party headquarters and blocked main roads in the center of the governorate in protest against the targeting of Al-Haboubi sit-in square.
The sources added that demonstrators burned party headquarters last night, as well as demolished the headquarters of the parties affiliated with the Badr Organization led by Hadi al-Ameri, Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq led by Qais Khazali, and the Dawa Party and the Wisdom Movement led by Ammar al-Hakim.
At the international level, the European Union mission in Baghdad and 16 countries condemned the assassinations that targeted Iraqi activists in the recent popular protests, and called in a joint statement for the perpetrators to be prosecuted.
The 16 countries and the European Union mission - in the statement - expressed their deep concern about the escalation of violence against civil society activists.
These countries also condemned the assassinations that took place in Basra and Baghdad, in light of what they called a systematic campaign of overt threats and intimidation.