Public anger grows, Iraqi protesters take over Najaf airport

Public anger over the lack of basic services and high unemployment is growing in Iraq as protests that have raged in the southern province of Basra this week spread northwards on Friday.

One protester has been killed and dozens of protesters and security forces have been injured.

The death occurred in Maysan province where another 15 protesters were injured.

“The wounded protesters were treated and the dead body of the protester was received for medical testing,” according to Mohammad al-Kinani, director of media relations for Maysan’s healthcare.

The cause of death was not immediately disclosed.

Protesters gathered in front of Maysan’s provincial council’s office earlier in the day, demanding better water and electricity services.

Video shared on social media showed protesters entering the airport in Najaf. Demonstrators took over the terminal and moved onto the tarmac, causing the airport to suspend operations.

“Najaf protesters came to the street to support the demands of protesters in Basra for water and electricity services,” Kazm Jlihavi, a member of the security committee of Najaf provincial council, told Rudaw.

Muqtada al-Sadr, the influential Shiite cleric whose electoral list topped polls in the May election, tweeted a request for protesters to respect public property and for security forces to not use force against demonstrators. Source