BAGHDAD – At least one person was killed on Tuesday in clashes between protesters and security forces who dispersed demonstrators who stormed Umm Qasr, Iraq’s main port located in the southern province of Basrah.
The clashes also left 30 injured as security forces employed tear gas to disperse “an increasing, large number of protesters,” a source from Basrah’s operation command told EFE on the condition of anonymity.
Protesters stormed the seaport and accessed its facilities, according to the source who denied that security forces employed live ammunition against the protesters.
Only live bullets were fired “in the air,” according to the source.
Demonstrators approached the port after dozens of people blocked several roads across the country.
Last week, at least 120 people were injured in clashes between protesters and security forces in the port, which has been closed since last week in wake of the massive anti-government protests.
Umm Qasr has repeatedly witnessed protests and attempts to control it; given it is a cornerstone of the Iraqi economy.
Security forces also managed to disperse some protesters who had gathered at the entrance of Al Diwaniyah refinery, blocking the access in and out of the facility, the Iraqi state-run INA news agency reported.
The second wave of protests broke out on October 25 to decry unreliable electric and water services, lack of economic opportunities and pervasive corruption, leaving at least 100 people killed and another 5,500 injured in clashes between protesters and security forces.
Rallies initially erupted on October 1 and left 157 people dead, including eight members of the security forces.