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Protests spread in oil-rich Basra as death toll rises

Deadly protests in Iraq’s southern economic hub and its nearby key commodities port continue amid concern that actual casualty figures are higher than reported. Several protesters were killed Nov. 24 near the port.

BASRA, Iraq — Repeated closures of Iraq’s key Umm Qasr port and intermittently blocked internet over the past almost two months have led to significant economic losses and suspicion in Iraq’s southernmost hub, as protests and outcry over the killing of unarmed demonstrators continue.

On Nov. 24, seven protesters were reported to have been killed and over 150 injured at the port when security forces apparently opened fire on demonstrators. Iraq’s High Commission for Human Rights reported only three deaths and said they had occurred during “violent clashes.”

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