By Ali Jawad
BASRA, Iraq (AA) – Cautious calm prevailed in Iraq’s southern province of Basra on Sunday after four days of angry protests over poor public utilities and unemployment, which left dozens dead.
“The security situation is calm in Basra at the moment,” Army Lieutenant Mohamed Khalaf told Anadolu Agency.
He said military and police forces have been redeployed across the troubled province after conducting a partial withdrawal in recent days.
“Security forces are on alert to see how far protesters will be committed to not attacking public and private property,” he added.
On Saturday, Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi appointed a new military commander and police chief in Basra amid ongoing protests against poor public services and high unemployment.
Since July 9, Iraq’s Shia-majority central and southern provinces — especially Basra — have been rocked by protests to demand better public services, more job opportunities and an end to government corruption.
At least 30 people have been killed and scores injured since the protests began, according to Iraqi authorities.