Security forces clashed with protesters in Sadr City overnight (local time) on Sunday, October 6, leaving 13 people dead. Some sources indicate that protesters burned tires while police reportedly used live ammunition was also reported during the protest. On Monday, October 7, Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi has ordered the withdrawal of the military from the city and their replacement by police officers, while stating that officers who used disproportional means to disperse crowds will be held accountable. He has also demanded security forces to strictly abide by the rules of protection of protesters and handling of riots.
The death toll from the nationwide protests - which began on October 1 to protest alleged government corruption, perceived inadequate public services provision, and a lack of job opportunities - has increased to more than 100.
Internet service disruptions continued throughout Iraq as of Saturday. Access to Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Instagram, and other social media apps has been limited or completely blocked.
Heightened security measures and transportation and business disruptions are to be expected in affected cities over the coming days as protests continue. Clashes between protesters and security forces cannot be ruled out.
Individuals in Baghdad and across Iraq are advised to closely monitor the situation, avoid all protests and large public gatherings as a precaution, anticipate internet service disruptions, 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.
Copyright and Disclaimer