Authorities close all vehicle entrances, exits to Najaf to isolate city
Haydar Karaalp, Gülsen Topcu – November 28, 2019
BAGHDAD (Anadolu) – Iraqi protesters on Wednesday set fire to the Iranian Consulate in Najaf, according to an Anadolu Agency reporter.
Protesters stormed the compound and set fire to the entire facility, but consulate staffers were evacuated beforehand, said police sources who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.
Iraq’s Najaf Operations Command announced a curfew but did not not specift how long it would continue.
Authorities decided to close all vehicle entrances and exits to Najaf to break isolate the city from other parts of the country until security and peace is restored.
An official from Najaf Hospital told an Anadolu Agency correspondent that 32 demonstrators were injured in a fight between demonstrators and security forces before the Iranian Consulate General was set on fire.
Separately, security forces and protesters clashed in Musenna, Qadisiyyah and Ziqar provinces, and dozens of protesters were reportedly wounded.
Iraq has been rocked by mass protests since early October against poor living conditions and corruption. Protesters demands later spiraled into calls for dissolving Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi’s government.
According to Iraq’s High Commission for Human Rights, at least 346 Iraqis have been killed and 15,000 have been injured since protests began Oct. 1.