Iraq: Dissidents stormed Najaf’s headquarters as demonstrations raise in southern Basra

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  • Angry protesters storm Najaf provincial council HQ and Najaf airport amid nationwide dissatisfaction with government
  • Tensions over basic services come at a sensitive time when Iraqi political blocs are attempting to form a coalition government

LONDON: Angry protesters stormed the headquarters of Najaf provincial council and Najaf airport on Friday.

There were no reports of clashes between protesters and local police, and security personnel allowed them to enter the provincial council’s headquarters and airport to demonstrate peacefully.

Also, in the Iraqi city of Nasiriyah, anti-government protests continued, while gunfire was heard, and protesters in the capital Baghdad called on the government to improve services.

On Thursday, demonstrations outside major oilfields in the southern oil hub of Basra involved dozens of residents demanding jobs and better public services.

Two protesters were wounded, police and hospital sources said, after the incident near an entrance to the giant West Qurna 2 oilfield, run by Lukoil.

Local workers said around 10 protesters managed to briefly enter a crude separation facility before police pushed them back.

Tensions over basic services come at a sensitive time when Iraqi political blocs are attempting to form a coalition government.

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