Protests Turn Deadly in Iraq's Basra

Published September 6th, 2018 - 08:54 GMT

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Protests against corruption, poor services and unemployment are challenging the Shiite political class. Demonstrations in Iraq are not new, but these are different.

Provincial governorate buildings have been sieged, political party offices stormed, Shiite militias attacked, an airport torched, and oil and port facilities blocked. At least a dozen protesters have been killed and hundreds wounded, either by militia or unknown gunmen. Hundreds more have been arrested and internet and social media curtailed in a bid to stop the protests. Continue reading below »

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Iraqi protestors carry the coffin of a man on September 4, 2018, that family and Human rights activists claim was killed by bullet shots during the previous day, while demonstrating against the government and the lack of basic services, in the southern city of Basra.
Haidar MOHAMMED ALI / AFP
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Image 1 of 10:  1 / 10Iraqi protestors carry the coffin of a man on September 4, 2018, that family and Human rights activists claim was killed by bullet shots during the previous day, while demonstrating against the government and the lack of basic services, in the southern city of Basra. Haidar MOHAMMED ALI / AFP

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Iraqi protestors demonstrate against the government and the lack of basic services, on September 3, 2018 in the southern city of Basra. 
Haidar MOHAMMED ALI / AFP
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Image 2 of 10:  2 / 10Iraqi protestors demonstrate against the government and the lack of basic services, on September 3, 2018 in the southern city of Basra. Haidar MOHAMMED ALI / AFP

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A masked Iraqi protester gestures while standing before burning tires during clashes with security forces in the southern city of Basra on September 2, 2018. 
Haidar MOHAMMED ALI / AFP
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Image 3 of 10:  3 / 10A masked Iraqi protester gestures while standing before burning tires during clashes with security forces in the southern city of Basra on September 2, 2018. Haidar MOHAMMED ALI / AFP

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An Iraqi protester reacts to tear gas fired by security forces during a protest against the government and the lack of basic services, on August 31, 2018 in the southern city of Basra. 
Haidar MOHAMMED ALI / AFP
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Image 4 of 10:  4 / 10An Iraqi protester reacts to tear gas fired by security forces during a protest against the government and the lack of basic services, on August 31, 2018 in the southern city of Basra. Haidar MOHAMMED ALI / AFP

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Iraqi protesters, who are demonstrating against corruption and lack of basic services, burn tires as they block the main road between the centre of the southern city of Basraon September 2, 2018. 
Haidar MOHAMMED ALI / AFP
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Image 5 of 10:  5 / 10Iraqi protesters, who are demonstrating against corruption and lack of basic services, burn tires as they block the main road between the centre of the southern city of Basraon September 2, 2018. Haidar MOHAMMED ALI / AFP

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Iraqi protesters chant slogans and wave a large national flag as they gather in a demonstration against corruption and lack of basic services outside the local government headquarters in the southern city of Basra on September 2, 2018. 
Haidar MOHAMMED ALI / AFP
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Image 6 of 10:  6 / 10Iraqi protesters chant slogans and wave a large national flag as they gather in a demonstration against corruption and lack of basic services outside the local government headquarters in the southern city of Basra on September 2, 2018. Haidar MOHAMMED ALI / AFP

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Armed Iraqi civilians attend the funeral of a man on September 4, 2018, that family and Human rights activists claim was killed by bullet shots during the previous day, while demonstrating against the government and the lack of basic services, in the southern city of Basra.
Haidar MOHAMMED ALI / AFP
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Image 7 of 10:  7 / 10Armed Iraqi civilians attend the funeral of a man on September 4, 2018, that family and Human rights activists claim was killed by bullet shots during the previous day, while demonstrating against the government and the lack of basic services, in the southern city of Basra. Haidar MOHAMMED ALI / AFP

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Iraqi protesters gesture and chant slogans as they gather in a demonstration against corruption and lack of basic services outside the local government headquarters in the southern city of Basra on September 2, 2018. 
Haidar MOHAMMED ALI / AFP
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Image 8 of 10:  8 / 10Iraqi protesters gesture and chant slogans as they gather in a demonstration against corruption and lack of basic services outside the local government headquarters in the southern city of Basra on September 2, 2018. Haidar MOHAMMED ALI / AFP

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Iraqi protestors clash with security forces firing tear gas during a protest against the government and the lack of basic services, on August 31, 2018 in the southern city of Basra. 
Haidar MOHAMMED ALI / AFP
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Image 9 of 10:  9 / 10Iraqi protestors clash with security forces firing tear gas during a protest against the government and the lack of basic services, on August 31, 2018 in the southern city of Basra. Haidar MOHAMMED ALI / AFP

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Iraqi security forces stand guard a street as protestors demonstrate against the government and the lack of basic services, on September 3, 2018 in the southern city of Basra. 
Haidar MOHAMMED ALI / AFP
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Image 10 of 10:  10 / 10Iraqi security forces stand guard a street as protestors demonstrate against the government and the lack of basic services, on September 3, 2018 in the southern city of Basra. Haidar MOHAMMED ALI / AFP

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Iraqi protestors carry the coffin of a man on September 4, 2018, that family and Human rights activists claim was killed by bullet shots during the previous day, while demonstrating against the government and the lack of basic services, in the southern city of Basra.
Haidar MOHAMMED ALI / AFP

Image 1 of 10Iraqi protestors carry the coffin of a man on September 4, 2018, that family and Human rights activists claim was killed by bullet shots during the previous day, while demonstrating against the government and the lack of basic services, in the southern city of Basra. Haidar MOHAMMED ALI / AFP

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Iraqi protestors demonstrate against the government and the lack of basic services, on September 3, 2018 in the southern city of Basra. 
Haidar MOHAMMED ALI / AFP

Image 2 of 10Iraqi protestors demonstrate against the government and the lack of basic services, on September 3, 2018 in the southern city of Basra. Haidar MOHAMMED ALI / AFP

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A masked Iraqi protester gestures while standing before burning tires during clashes with security forces in the southern city of Basra on September 2, 2018. 
Haidar MOHAMMED ALI / AFP

Image 3 of 10A masked Iraqi protester gestures while standing before burning tires during clashes with security forces in the southern city of Basra on September 2, 2018. Haidar MOHAMMED ALI / AFP

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An Iraqi protester reacts to tear gas fired by security forces during a protest against the government and the lack of basic services, on August 31, 2018 in the southern city of Basra. 
Haidar MOHAMMED ALI / AFP

Image 4 of 10An Iraqi protester reacts to tear gas fired by security forces during a protest against the government and the lack of basic services, on August 31, 2018 in the southern city of Basra. Haidar MOHAMMED ALI / AFP

5

Iraqi protesters, who are demonstrating against corruption and lack of basic services, burn tires as they block the main road between the centre of the southern city of Basraon September 2, 2018. 
Haidar MOHAMMED ALI / AFP

Image 5 of 10Iraqi protesters, who are demonstrating against corruption and lack of basic services, burn tires as they block the main road between the centre of the southern city of Basraon September 2, 2018. Haidar MOHAMMED ALI / AFP

6

Iraqi protesters chant slogans and wave a large national flag as they gather in a demonstration against corruption and lack of basic services outside the local government headquarters in the southern city of Basra on September 2, 2018. 
Haidar MOHAMMED ALI / AFP

Image 6 of 10Iraqi protesters chant slogans and wave a large national flag as they gather in a demonstration against corruption and lack of basic services outside the local government headquarters in the southern city of Basra on September 2, 2018. Haidar MOHAMMED ALI / AFP

7

Armed Iraqi civilians attend the funeral of a man on September 4, 2018, that family and Human rights activists claim was killed by bullet shots during the previous day, while demonstrating against the government and the lack of basic services, in the southern city of Basra.
Haidar MOHAMMED ALI / AFP

Image 7 of 10Armed Iraqi civilians attend the funeral of a man on September 4, 2018, that family and Human rights activists claim was killed by bullet shots during the previous day, while demonstrating against the government and the lack of basic services, in the southern city of Basra. Haidar MOHAMMED ALI / AFP

8

Iraqi protesters gesture and chant slogans as they gather in a demonstration against corruption and lack of basic services outside the local government headquarters in the southern city of Basra on September 2, 2018. 
Haidar MOHAMMED ALI / AFP

Image 8 of 10Iraqi protesters gesture and chant slogans as they gather in a demonstration against corruption and lack of basic services outside the local government headquarters in the southern city of Basra on September 2, 2018. Haidar MOHAMMED ALI / AFP

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Iraqi protestors clash with security forces firing tear gas during a protest against the government and the lack of basic services, on August 31, 2018 in the southern city of Basra. 
Haidar MOHAMMED ALI / AFP

Image 9 of 10Iraqi protestors clash with security forces firing tear gas during a protest against the government and the lack of basic services, on August 31, 2018 in the southern city of Basra. Haidar MOHAMMED ALI / AFP

10

Iraqi security forces stand guard a street as protestors demonstrate against the government and the lack of basic services, on September 3, 2018 in the southern city of Basra. 
Haidar MOHAMMED ALI / AFP

Image 10 of 10Iraqi security forces stand guard a street as protestors demonstrate against the government and the lack of basic services, on September 3, 2018 in the southern city of Basra. Haidar MOHAMMED ALI / AFP

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Basra, Iraq’s main oil hub, was the cradle of widespread protests over the summer. The demonstrations started over electricity shortages and quickly targeted corruption, poverty and a lack of jobs.

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