Security forces reopen key port after dispersing protesters
BAGHDAD (Anadolu) – Iraqi security forces on Friday reopened the country’s main Umm Qasr port near Basra by dispersing the protesters, who had been blocking the entrance of the port.
“Security forces dispersed dozens of demonstrators who had blocked the entrance to the port of Umm Qasr near Basra,” said Jamil al-Hajji, a police official in Basra.
“Employees managed to enter the port after the demonstrators left the entrance which they had been blocking since Monday,” he said.
New measures were taken after the reopening of the port and only those who hold an identity card from Umm Qasr can enter the city.
Umm Qasr is one of the most prominent ports for goods movement and the largest in Iraq.
Since early October, Iraq has seen mass popular protests against poor living conditions and corruption. The demands later spiraled into calls for dissolving Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi’s government.
According to the Iraq’s High Commission for Human Rights, at least 339 Iraqis have been killed and around 15,000 have been injured since the protests began on Oct. 1.
* Bassel Barakat contributed to this report from Ankara