Protesters attempt to torch parliament office building in south Iraq


Iraqi protesters tried late on Friday to set fire to the parliament office building in the southern Iraqi city of Basra, witnesses told dpa.

They said security forces were able to disperse the demonstrators and put out the fire.

Security sources said  police forces dealt with the utmost restraint with the demonstrators, “despite the use of some demonstrators of petrol bombs and hurling stones at the police forces.”

A statement from the Basra Police Command called on all peaceful demonstrators to cooperate and to prevent acts of violence.

Dubai-based Al Hadath television said protesters were angry after two activists were killed this week in Basra.

Street protests have roiled Iraq since early October, with demonstrators calling for the resignation of the government, the dissolution of parliament and an overhaul of the country’s political system, which has been in place since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.

The protests led then-prime minister Adel Abdel-Mahdi to resign in late November under pressure from the street protests.

Current Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi announced in July that early parliamentary elections will be held in the country in 2021.


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