Demonstrators are blocking the entrance of the Umm Qasr commodities port as protests in Basra continue on Thursday, September 6. Tensions escalated for the third night in a row on Wednesday, September 5, when thousands of residents set fire to the provincial governorate building and marched towards the Umm Qasr commodities port, expressing their discontent with poor government services and anger over the deaths of at least six protesters in recent days. Local sources reported violent clashes with security forces, during which a protester was killed and 25 more injured. Further protests are likely in the coming days. Disruptions in the port's activities can be expected.
Protests in Basra have left more than six people dead and over a dozen wounded since September 3. Following violent clashes between protestors and security forces on Tuesday, September 4, local authorities declared a citywide curfew. Basra has seen a series of protests in recent months as residents denounce the lack of government services.
Individuals in Iraq, and particularly those in Basra, are advised to closely monitor the situation, avoid all protests and large public gatherings as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.
The security environment in Iraq remains complex. Although travel is possible in some areas with proper security protocols in place, other areas should be considered strictly off-limits. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to all travel.
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