Tishwash: Protests in Iraq .. The killing of demonstrators near the central bank and Sistani calls for accelerated reforms
BAGHDAD (Reuters) – At least two protesters were killed on Friday and about 30 others were wounded by Iraqi security forces as they blocked protesters from reaching the heavily guarded central bank, witnesses said, while the Shi’ite authority called for speedy reform of electoral laws to break the current crisis.
Al-Jazeera correspondent in Baghdad said that hundreds of demonstrators managed to drop the first concrete barrier leading to the central bank located in Al-Rasheed Street near Al-Ahrar Bridge in central Baghdad.
The correspondent added that security personnel prevented the protesters from dropping the second barrier to reach the bank, and the barrier is only a few meters away from the central bank.
He pointed out that the security forces used tear gas and live bullets to disperse the demonstrators and prevent them from dropping the second barrier.
The area witnessed yesterday skirmishes of security forces and demonstrators tried to reach the Central Bank, killing seven protesters and wounding more than seventy.
The Reuters news agency, citing medical sources and eyewitnesses that seven demonstrators were killed and dozens wounded and suffocation cases yesterday in several areas, including the bridges of Alsink and Ahrar in central Baghdad.
Reuters reported sources in the southern port of Umm Qasr that security forces dispersed protesters at the port gate, which led to the injury of a number of them.
Witnesses from the southern city of Basra said the protesters were gathering near the port of Umm Qasr, the country’s biggest port overlooking the Gulf.
The sources added that the port authorities, which had been forced in the previous days to close because of the gathering of demonstrators, still closed the port even after the security forces dispersed the demonstrators using tear gas and batons.
The Reuters news agency that the workers managed to enter the port near the city of Basra, but its operations have not yet resumed.
The protesters had closed the port of Umm Qasr from October 29 to the ninth of this month, except for a brief resumption of operations for three days.
A government spokesman said at the time that the closure had lost Iraq more than $ 6 billion in the first week alone.
The port receives imports of grain, vegetable oil and sugar shipments in a country heavily dependent on imported food.
In a related context, a security source told the Anatolia that angry protesters set fire yesterday evening in the Department of Tribal Affairs Dhi Qar police directorate in the south of the country.
At the political level, the Shiite Marja in Iraq urged politicians to expedite the adoption of the laws of parliamentary elections and the Independent Electoral Commission.
The representative of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani said in the Friday sermon in the city of Karbala that the supreme authority “stresses the need to accelerate the completion of the election law and the law of its commission, stressing that the supreme authority” stresses the need to accelerate the completion of the election law and the law of the Commission, Country. “
Since the protests began, 339 people have been killed and 15,000 wounded, according to Anatolia, according to figures from the parliamentary Human Rights Commission, the Iraqi Human Rights Commission and medical and human rights sources. link