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Police fire live rounds to disperse protest in Iraq's Basra

Police fire live rounds to disperse protest in Iraq's Basra
Iraqi demonstrators gather during an anti-government protest in front of the Governorate building in Basra, Iraq December 14, 2018. REUTERS/Essam al-Sudani   -   Copyright  ESSAM AL-SUDANI(Reuters)
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By Aref Mohammed

BASRA, Iraq (Reuters) – Security forces used live bullets and teargas on Friday to disperse protesters gathered in Iraq’s southern city of Basra, but no injuries were reported.

Around 250 people had surrounded a building used as temporary headquarters for the provincial council to protest against corruption and demand jobs and better public services.

Protesters threw rocks at riot police vehicles.

Iraq’s second city has been rocked by demonstrations in which government offices, including the main provincial council building, have been ransacked and set alight by protesters angry about corruption.

Unrest first erupted in July over poor government services but intensified in September before dwindling in recent months.

Residents in Basra say they have been driven onto the streets by corruption and misrule that have allowed infrastructure to collapse, leaving no power or safe drinking water.

(Reporting by Aref Mohammed; Writing by Ahmed Aboulenein)

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