16 November 2019
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Hundreds of anti-government demonstrators have been detained in Iraq since October 25, and arrests in Anbar indicate intimidation by the authorities. The protests in Iraq began in Baghdad on October 1 and quickly spread to mostly Shia-dominated southern cities, including Karbala and Basra. Although the majority of protesters are Shias, their slogans are neutral: “We’re not Shia, we’re not Sunni, we’re Iraqis!”; and “One Iraq, Iran out!” These chants are heard the most. In some Sunni majority areas, however, an…
BAGHDAD (AP) — The shoes are coming off again in Iraq. In years past, Iraqis have beaten their shoes against portraits of Saddam Hussein in a sign of anger and insult. In 2008, an Iraqi journalist threw his shoes at a ducking President George W. Bush during a news conference to vent his outrage at the U.S.-led invasion. Now protesters in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square are using their shoes again — slapping them against banners depicting Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme…
Essa, 23, shakes a can of red spray paint, crouches over the sidewalk near Baghdad's Tahrir Square and scrawls something shocking about Iran's supreme leader. "Khamenei is an ass," it reads. The insult to Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, spray painted without fear, would have been unimaginable before anti-government protests swept from Iraq's southern coast to its capital in the past month. Demonstrators accuse Iran and Iran-backed politicians of of controlling Iraq and harming the country's interests. Iran has strong links…

Internet access cut off in much of Iraq Tuesday, 05 November 2019 21:21

CAIRO (Reuters) - Internet access in the capital Baghdad and much of Iraq has been cut off, internet blockage observatory NetBlocks said late on Monday as the country experiences a wave of anti-government protests. “At the time of writing, national connectivity has fallen below 19% of normal levels sending tens of millions of users offline across Baghdad, also impacting Basra, Karbala and other population centers. The new disruption is believed to be the most severe observed in Iraq to date,”…
Anti-government protesters crossed a major bridge in Baghdad on Monday, approaching the prime minister’s office and the headquarters of Iraq’s state-run TV, as security forces fired live ammunition and tear gas, killing at least five demonstrators and wounding dozens. The protesters hurled rocks and set tires and dumpsters ablaze, sending clouds of black smoke into the air. Security forces flooded into the area to protect government buildings, and gunfire echoed through the streets. Dozens of motorized rickshaws raced back and…
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraqi security forces killed at least five people when they opened fire on protesters in Baghdad on Monday, a Reuters witness said, as thousands took part in the largest wave of anti-government protests for decades. Demonstrations also took place in several other locations, including the main Gulf port Umm Qasr and southern Shatra, where security forces also killed a protester. In Baghdad, a Reuters cameraman saw one man shot dead, his body carried away by fellow protesters,…
At least three people were shot dead when protesters attacked the Iranian consulate in the Iraqi holy city of Karbala on Sunday night. The protesters, who demanded that Iran stop interfering in Iraq's internal affairs, climbed the consulate's walls. Reports say the security forces opened fire, but another account says unknown gunmen were responsible. There are also reports that security forces fired live rounds at protesters gathered in Baghdad on Monday. Mass demonstrations against Iraq's government have continued despite a…
(BAGHDAD) — Iraqi security forces fired tear gas and live ammunition to disperse thousands of anti-government protesters Saturday, killing at least one and wounding more than 200 in the capital Baghdad and in the country’s south, police officials and a semi-official human rights commission said. The largest protest took place in Baghdad, where tens of thousands of people gathered in and near a central square in defiance of a government crackdown that killed dozens over the past month. Tens of…
BASRA, Iraq (Reuters) - Thousands of protesters were blocking all roads leading to Iraq’s main Gulf port Umm Qasr on Saturday, after security forces used live rounds and tear gas on them overnight, security sources said. Operations at the port have been at a complete standstill since Wednesday, after protesters first blocked its entrance on Tuesday. Umm Qasr receives the vast bulk of Iraq’s imports of grain, vegetable oils and sugar, needed to feed a country heavily dependent on imported…
Masked gunmen opened fire at Iraqi protesters in the Shiite holy city of Karbala on Tuesday, killing 18 people and wounding hundreds, security officials said, in one of the deadliest single attacks on protesters since anti-government demonstrations erupted earlier this month. The attack, which happened overnight, came as Iraqis took to the streets for a fifth consecutive day, protesting their government’s corruption, lack of services and other grievances. The bloodshed in Karbala, a major pilgrimage site where a revered Shiite…
At least 67 Iraqis were killed and hundreds wounded in two days of protests over the weekend, as demonstrators clashed with security forces and militia groups in a second wave of protests against Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi's government this month. Seeking to contain the spiralling violence, on Saturday night Abdul Mahdi ordered members of the country's elite Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) onto the streets of the capital Baghdad and the southern city of Nasiriya. They were told to "use all…

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