Iraqi forces kill 2 protesters in Basra

By Arif Yusuf and Hamdi Yildiz

BASRA, Iraq (AA) – Two Iraqi protesters died in the southern city of Basra when security forces intervened in anti-government demonstrations, a medical source said Saturday.

More than 100 people were also injured by live bullets or tear gas canisters, the source said on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

On Thursday, Iraqi security forces opened fire on protesters in Basra while dispersing them, killing three, according to a medical source.

At least 270 protesters have been killed and thousands injured in anti-government demonstrations throughout Iraq since Oct. 1, according to Iraqi sources.

Popular anger has been simmering in Iraq in recent years due to rising unemployment and rampant corruption. Many residents have limited access to basic services such as electricity and clean water.

Iraq's youth unemployment is around 25% according to World Bank figures. It is also the 12th most corrupt country in the world according to several organizations that monitor transparency.

*Writing by Gozde Bayar

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