Operations resume at Iraqi port, oil refinery after protesters leave


Security forces were also arresting protesters en masse.

Also Friday, protester Amir Shami said security forces tore down tents at a protest sit-in in the holy city of Karbala.

While the government has provided some handouts to the poor, promised to prosecute corrupt officials and to create more job opportunities for graduates, it has not been able to to placate the protesters.

"Even if the bridges and most of the roads are closed, people are driving all the way around from far-away areas to reach Tahrir", one protester said.

At least six people have been shot dead by Iraqi security forces in Baghdad and four others were killed in Basra as anti-government protests showed no signs of easing.

The new stoppage of operations at Umm Qasr port in the south is likely to compound financial losses a day after the government said that a week-long halt of operations there had cost more than $6 billion.

Authorities said that operations resumed on November 7 at the nearby Nassiriya oil refinery, which had been disrupted by protesters the day before.

"We sacrificed the blood of our tribe's sons", said one tribe member who had travelled from the southern city of Nasiriyah.

BAGHDAD -Iraqi security forces fired tear gas and live rounds into the air to disperse protesters in central Baghdad on Wednesday as the biggest wave of anti-government demonstrations in decades spread out across the capital.

As per security officials, additional security arrangements were made at the entrances leading to the Green Zone. Ismael Abbas was hit in the abdomen with a tear gas canister fired by security forces and died from his wounds last week after complications during surgery. "They must avoid using excessive force with peaceful protesters".

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However, in an update to its initial findings released on Thursday, Amnesty International now says that a type of tear gas grenade used by the Iraqi security forces was not Bulgarian in origin, but had been produced by Defense Industries Organization (DIO) of Iran.

Netblocks said Wednesday that Iraq "remains largely offline".

This week's violence has raised the death toll to around 130 since the protests resumed on October 24 after a lull.

More than 250 people have been killed since the unrest erupted on October 1. It also ranks 12th most corrupt country in the world, according to several organizations that monitor transparency.

Arson was a feature of both the 2018 and current protests.

He said those in power must come up with a meaningful response to the demonstrations.

Abdul Mahdi's position looked precarious at the start of the popular protests, as the two sponsors of his government seemed to agree on his ouster.

President Barham Saleh has proposed early elections once a new voting law and commission are agreed, which would pave the way for a new prime minister.

Moqtada Sadr, the populist cleric who had been the most vocal about the government's ouster, has gone silent amid reports he is in neighbouring Iran.