- Title: Basra protests flare into violence as demonstrators demand change
- Date: 25th October 2019
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE (Arabic) UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTER, SAYING: ''He (the injured protester) was standing beside me when they (the security forces) hit him with stone. I swear by Hussein (grandson of Prophet Mohammed) he was standing beside me. He did nothing and they hit him.''
- Embargoed: 8th November 2019 16:38
- Keywords: Iraq Basra protests security forces Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi
- Location: BASRA, IRAQ
- City: BASRA, IRAQ
- Country: Iraq
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,Civil Unrest
- Reuters ID: LVA002B2LJVPJ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Iraqi protesters in the southern city of Basra on Friday (October 25) set a government building on fire after security forces used tear gas to disperse crowds.
Medical sources told Reuters journalists at the scene around 20 people had been treated in hospital for tear gas exposure.
The authorities have struggled to address protesters' grievances since sometimes violent unrest erupted in Baghdad on October 1, spreading to southern cities. Demonstrators blame corrupt officials and political elite for failing to improve their lives.
The unrest has posed the biggest challenge to Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi since he took office just one year ago. Despite promising reforms and a broad cabinet reshuffle, the premier has so far struggled to address the roiling discontent.
Unrest first started in July over poor government services but intensified in September before dwindling in recent months.
(Production: Mohammed A'ty, Mohammed al-Ramahi, Maher Nazeh, Mohammed Katfan)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: WARNING: Editors please note, this clip contains graphic material