By Amir al-Hasani
One protester was killed Friday during demonstrations in Iraq’s southern city of Najaf as rallies continued across the country against economic woes and government mismanagement.
Iraq’s Health Ministry said in a statement that most of the 45 injured during protests throughout the country were security personnel.
For the second week in a row, Iraq’s southern provinces have witnessed angry protests which in some cases have included acts of violence that have left at least eight dead.
The protests first erupted in the southern city of Basra, where demonstrators decried poor public services, high unemployment and chronic power shortages.
The main reasons for Iraq’s ongoing financial crisis, which appear to have triggered the protests, are the high costs of perpetual conflict and falling oil revenues.
While Baghdad has been largely unable to fulfill its development plans, it is also struggling to provide basic public utilities, including electricity and water.
Iraq’s predominantly Shia eastern and southern regions, meanwhile, appear to face an altogether different challenge: perceived government negligence and mismanagement.
Recent days have seen the protests spread from southern Iraq to a number of other cities and provinces, including the nation’s capital, where the government has cut internet access and banned several social media platforms in hopes of preventing the protests from escalating further.