Security forces storm protest sites in Basra, arresting demonstrators and burning tents

In bid to halt unrest there
Photo Credit: INSM - Iraq

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SULAIMANI — The security forces Basra stormed the main protest camps in Basra early on Saturday morning (January 25) in a bid to end demonstrations there.

A security source told NRT Digital Media that “elements of the shock forces broke up the sit-in of the demonstrators in Basra at dawn today and arrested a number of protestors, burning tents, and removing all the barriers in the streets.”

They added that “the force that broke up the sit-in included more than 80 vehicles belonging the shock force and was led by Brigadier Ali al-Mishari,” noting that these forces were backed by military Humvees.

Central and southern Iraq has been rocked by nearly four months of protests against the government in an attempt to bring about fundamental change to governance in the country, which demonstrators say is riven with corruption and dysfunction.

An estimated 500 people have been killed in the unrest, which began on October 1. The security forces and Iranian-backed militias have been using live ammunition, tear gas, and targeted abductions and killings in an attempt to bring the protests to a halt.

In December, protesters resoundingly rejected Asaad al-Eidani’s nomination by al-Bina bloc to take over from caretaker Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi, who offered his resignation nearly two months ago under pressure from protesters.

(NRT Digital Media)