Iraq erupts: Protesters swarm oil field as fury over ‘corrupt’ regime threatens CIVIL WAR

Sunday, September 2, 2018
By Paul Martin

SECURITY forces fired teargas at protesters massed outside one of Iraq’s main oilfields as fury grows over poor public services and water supplies.

Sun, Sep 2, 2018

Police tried to disperse around 150 people gathered at the Nahr Bin Omar site close to the southern city of Basra today.

The key site produces around 44,000 barrels of oil a day.

The demonstration follows Friday’s clashes between hundreds of Iraqi protesters and security forces.

Protesters hurled stones and threatened to storm the local government headquarters as police responded with tear gas.

Basra residents say local water is undrinkable due to high salt levels and that electricity outages are hitting residents during the blistering Iraqi summer.

Protest organiser Hassan Ali said: “We will not allow the oilfield to operate unless we get clean water.

“No services, no jobs and now no clean water. We are fed up.”

Iraq has been gripped by protests over power outages, unemployment and a lack of clean water.

More protesters gathered at a main road to the east of Basra, which leads to a border crossing with Iran.

They are trying to prevent trucks from leaving the site, according to local police and customs officials.

Iraqi politicians hope to form a coalition government following May’s parliamentary election, which many claim was tainted by fraud.

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