Armed Iraqi civilians attend the funeral of a protester allegedly killed by security forces on Monday night. Photo: Haidar Mohammed Ali / AFP
Sadr: Do not test our patience
Muqtada al-Sadr warned “I advise you not to test our patience,” in a tweet directed at the government.
“We feel sad to see a tragedy in our oppressed Basra. What angered me is the unjust infringement by some members of … security forces against unarmed protesters who do not want anything but to live with dignity and so that efforts are made to rid Basra from corruption, sectarianism and militias,” he added.
Sadr, an outspoken Shiite cleric, led the top list in Iraq’s parliamentary election. He is in a supposed alliance with Haider al-Abadi’s Nasr coalition.
Iraq’s richest province, oil-rich Basra has been rocked by protests since early July over the lack of jobs, services, and revenue sharing.
“Basra is our might and pride, and it is the heart of Iraq,” added Sadr.
Abadi orders interior ministry to investigate Basra protests
Protestors have laid siege to the governorate building in Basra, Iraqi Interior Ministry Spokesperson Saad Maan said, according to state media.
The ministry has begun an investigation on Basra's unrest by order of Haider al-Abadi.
“We reject the use of live bullets, and call on protesters not to harm public property," stated Maan.
He confirmed that the protesters have "besieged Basra governorate building and set the top floor on fire.”
Curfew imposed after federal troops deploy to Basra
Officials imposed a curfew in Basra on Tuesday night after at least 5 protestors have been killed and 30 injured.
A number of Iraqi military and security commanders have arrived in Basra.
Protests in Basra continue into the night
Protestors set fire to part of the city governorate’s building.
Iraqi security forces have killed three protestors and injured 18 people, including nine security forces.
Deadly protests target Basra's governorate building
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – A protester was killed and six others wounded on Monday night when security forces opened fire on demonstrators outside Basra’s provincial council building. Basra’s Operations Command and the head of the provincial council have ordered the office evacuated.
“The security forces fended off the attempts of the protestors to attack governmental institutions. The security forces opened fire, leading to the death of a protestor instantly,” a source, who preferred to remain anonymous, told Rudaw.
Strict measures have been instituted by security forces in the wake of the protests which began in July, the source added.
Basma al-Salmi, a member of Basra provincial council, has condemned the behavior of security forces.
“Security forces have military orders to open fire directly at the protestors in case of an assault on government buildings,” Salmi told Rudaw. She warned the heavy handed response had led to catastrophic results.
Protests demanding clean water, electricity, services, and employment in oil-rich Basra’s neglected communities began on July 8 and spread to several other southern provinces. They erupted again over the weekend.
Baghdad Today reported that “hundreds” of Basra residents participated in the funeral of Maky Yassir, the killed protester.
Mahdi al-Tamimi, the local head of Iraq’s Human Rights Commission, called for an investigation.
“We call on the Iraqi judiciary to open an immediate and urgent investigation into the killing of a demonstrator who was shot in the shoulder and subjected to electric shocks by security forces,” Tamimi said in a statement, Reuters reports.
The governor of Basra, Asaad al-Idani, has sent a letter to Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi demanding the head of Basra Operations Command be transferred outside the province, Baghdad Today reports.
Orders have been issued by the head of the Basra provincial council, Walid Kittan, for the provincial council building to be evacuated due to “security necessities”, Baghdad Today reported.
The Iraqi parties are engaged in talks for to establish the largest parliamentary bloc, and eventually the government. The Maliki-Amiri bloc and the Sadr-Abadi bloc are in a race to garner the most supporters.