Saturday, 23 October 2021

Protesters block entrance of Iraq’s Umm Qasr port

(Murtadha Sudani – Anadolu Agency)

BAGHDAD: Hundreds of demonstrators blocked the gates of Umm Qasr port in the Iraq’s southern province of Basra, a security source said.

The port “Umm Qasr” is one of the most prominent ports for goods movement and the largest in Iraq.

Trucks movement has stopped as hundreds of demonstrators used objects like tires, stones and metals to block the gates of the port, a local police officer told Anadolu Agency on condition of anonymity as he is not authorized to speak to media outlets.

More than 80 people have been killed and more than 3,600 others injured since a second wave of protests began in several Iraqi provinces on Friday, according to human rights groups.

The first wave of protests in early October left 149 protesters and eight security personnel dead.

Anger has been building in Iraq in recent years due to rising unemployment and rampant corruption. Many people in the country have limited access to basic services such as electricity and clean water.

According to World Bank figures, Iraq’s youth unemployment is around 25%. It is also ranked the 12th most-corrupt country in the world by several transparency organizations.

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