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Iraq protesters block roads leading to Basra oil field

Iraqi citizens protest against the government on 15 July 2018 [Hayder Abu Rizq/Anadolu Agency]
Iraqi citizens protest against the government on 15 July 2018 [Hayder Abu Rizq/Anadolu Agency]

Hundreds of protesters from the province of Basra blocked off roads leading to the West Qurna oil field on the ninth consecutive day of their protests, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed news site reported.

Activist Imad Hameed told the news site that “the Iraqi security forces are trying to open the roads, but the protestors have insisted their demands to provide services and employment opportunities for the unemployed and fight corruption be met.”

Meanwhile, dozens of the province’s residents have gathered in front of the Russian Lukoil oil company working in Qurna oil. Security forces surrounded the demonstrators and closed the oil field’s gates to stop protesters storming it.

Iraq has witnessed increased protests over the past few weeks with activists calling for an end to corruption and greater jobs for locals in the oil-rich south. In response to the uprisings, last week the government approved a proposal which would mean 50 per cent all staff in foreign companies would need to be made up of local workers, Al-Khaleej Online reported.

Backing the protests, former prime minister and head of State of the Law coalition, Nouri Al-Maliki, has calling on demonstrators not to abandon their rights.

Read: Iraq protesters prevented from storming petrol facility

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