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Iraq protesters block main road in Diyala to protest power outages

Iraqi protesters burn tyres in Baghdad, Iraq on 9 May 2021 [MOHAMMED SAWAF/AFP/ Getty Images]
Iraqi protesters burn tyres in Baghdad, Iraq on 9 May 2021 [MOHAMMED SAWAF/AFP/ Getty Images]

Dozens of Iraqi protesters in Diyala Governorate today blocked a road leading to a border crossing with Iran, in protest against the poor electricity service and frequent power outages, Anadolu reported.

 

The agency quoted eyewitnesses as saying that dozens of protesters in the city of Khanaqin in Diyala Governorate blocked the road leading to Al-Munthiriya border crossing point with Iran and set up tents in order to remain in the area until their demands are met. They are calling for "corrupt local officials" to be removed from office and for electricity services to be improved.

For his part, Diyala police Lieutenant Shaalan Al-Kameli told Anadolu that protesters blocked the road with rocks and tyres, which they set on fire.

"Security authorities cannot force the protesters to reopen the road," he added, in order not to cause a confrontation between the two bodies, "but will try to persuade them to do so."

On Tuesday, Iraq's Minister of Electricity, Majed Mahdi Hantoosh, submitted his resignation following an escalation in protests over the repeated power outages in the country.

READ: Iraq vaccinates all prisoners against COVID-19

Iraq has been suffering from a decades-old electricity shortage crisis as a result of successive wars, the instability of the security situation in the country, as well as the spread of corruption.

Iraq produces between 19,000 and 21,000 megawatts of electricity but needs over 30,000 megawatts to meet demand.

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