World, Middle East

2 Iraqi protesters killed in clashes near Umm Qasr port

Port had been closed by protesters since Wednesday

Ibrahim Salih   | 05.11.2019
2 Iraqi protesters killed in clashes near Umm Qasr port file photo

BAGHDAD 

Two people were killed in Monday's clashes between protesters and security forces near Iraq's main Gulf port Umm Qasr, according to an Iraqi medical source on Tuesday. 

"Two protesters were killed and 12 others injured in the violence," the source said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

Security forces used live ammunition and teargas canisters to disperse the protesters and reopened the port, according to witnesses.

Receiving the main bulk of Iraq's imports of grain and sugar, the port had been closed by protesters since Wednesday.

Iraq has been rocked by a second wave of protests since last week against deep-seated corruption, unemployment and lack of basic services.

At least 260 people have been killed and 12,000 others injured since the demonstrations began on Oct. 25, according to Iraq's High Commission for Human Rights.

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.

*Bassel Barakat contributed to this report from Ankara

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