The Iraqi government has announced that nightly internet restrictions will be in effect during the work week as of Thursday, October 10. According to a statement released by the government, internet service will be available between the hours of 08:00 and 15:00 (local time). However, local sources have reported that access to services varies despite the official restriction hours. While the government has not confirmed when the restrictions will end, normal internet service is expected to be restored following the Shi'a Arba'een observance from Saturday, October 19, through Sunday, October 20.
As of Thursday morning, Tahrir Square in Baghdad has reopened. A heavy security presence has been reported around the Green Zone, particularly near the Jumhuriyah bridge. Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi announced three days of mourning beginning on October 10 for the individuals who have been killed in the recent protests. According to the government, 153 people have been killed in the violence.
Further demonstrations are possible in the coming days if protesters do not feel like the government has not presented enough reforms. A heightened security presence is expected in Baghdad and other major urban areas. Clashes between protesters and security forces cannot be ruled out in the event of protests.
Demonstrations first broke out on October 1 to protest alleged government corruption, perceived inadequate public services provision, and a lack of job opportunities.
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.
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