Iraq declares curfew in southern Basra

By Haydar Karaalp

BAGHDAD (AA) – Iraq on Friday declared a curfew in the southern city of Basra following mounting tensions, according to the army.

The army’s Basra Operations Command said in a written statement that the curfew was declared due to incidents that occurred in the city.

On Friday, demonstrators set fire to the Iranian Consulate in Basra.

Iranian government, as a response, closed its Shalamchech border gate with Iraq.

The army did not say when the curfew may be lifted.

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.