On September 6, thousands of civilians took at the streets in the southern Iraqi city of al-Basra to protest against corruption and a lack of basic public services. The angry protestors targeted and set fire to several government and political party buildings including the center of the Islamic Dawa Party and the headquarters of the Iranian-backed Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq and Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba armed groups.
Saif al-Bader, a spokesman for the Ministry of Health of Iraq, said that one protestor lost his life and 35 people were injured during clashes between the protestors and Iraqi security forces. Following these violent clashes, the Basra Operations Command imposed a one-hour long curfew.
The Iraqi Parliament will hold an emergency session on September 8 to handle the unrest in al-Basra. Previously, the Iraqi federal government promised to increase founds for southern Iraq. However, the protests continued.
The protests erupted in July when al-Basra began to suffer from unprecedented drought, power cuts and a high level of pollution in air and water. These conditions have put the oil-rich city on the brink of cholera outbreak. However, the government is yet to take any measures to prevent the catastrophe.