One dead, 10 injured during protests in Iraq’s Basra

Eyewitness says members of Asaib Ahl al-Haq opened fire on demonstrators when they tried to enter group’s office building

One dead, 10 injured during protests in Iraq's Basra

By Safiye Karabacak

BASRA

At least one person was killed and 10 others wounded Friday when demonstrators in the southern Iraqi city of Basra attempted to enter the office building of a group linked to Hashd al-Shaabi.

Hani Abdul Hussein, an eyewitness, told Anadolu Agency that the demonstrators were trying to enter the office building of the Asaib Ahl al-Haq — a militant faction of the Hashd al-Shaabi, a predominantly Shia fighting force.

Abdul Hussein said members of Asaib Ahl al-Haq opened fire on the demonstrators.

Meanwhile, Hashd al-Shaabi said in a statement that a masked group attacked the building and set it on fire.

Earlier Friday, local Iraqi media announced that Tehran had closed the Shalamcheh border crossing in Basra after an angry mob torched the Iranian consulate.

Iraq’s committee for border crossings, however, refuted it in a statement and said the crossing was operating as usual.

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.

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