Basra has been rocked by protests to demand better public services and more job opportunities
By Ali Jawad and Aref Yusuf
Three Iraqis were killed and 50 others injured in Friday’s protests in the southern province of Basra, according to the health ministry.
In a statement on Saturday, ministry spokesman Seif al-Badr said the sweeping majority of those injured were civilians.
“Two policemen were among those injured in Friday’s protests,” he said.
An angry mob torched the Iranian consulate in Basra on Friday as well as a number of government buildings, the spokesman said.
Haymen Bajalan, a member of Iraq’s Human Rights Commission, criticized the government’s handling of the unrest in Basra.
“There is a total government silence and insecurity in the province amid a rise in assaults on public and private property,” he said.
Friday’s fatalities bring to 29 the number of people killed since protests over poor public utilities began in the province.
Since July 9, Iraq’s Shia-majority central and southern provinces — especially Basra — have been rocked by protests to demand better public services, more job opportunities and an end to government corruption.