Protests are reportedly ongoing in several cities across Iraq on Sunday, November 24. Thousands of people have rallied in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square and Al-Ahrar Bridge. At least one protester died during the demonstration on Al-Ahrar Bridge within the past 24 hours; two security personnel and a civilian were also wounded in clashes. Activists are calling for a general strike in Baghdad on Sunday, which may cause significant business and traffic disruptions.
Demonstrators in Basra are gathering in multiple areas of the city on Sunday morning (local time). Some protesters have erected a tent at the Majnoon concession and are blocking traffic in the area. Al-Nashaw, Basra's main road, is also being blocked by burning tires. Local sources reported a rally in Zubayr as well, with around 60 people barricading the route to the railway line west of the city.
Heightened security measures and disruptions to transportation and businesses are to be expected in Baghdad, Basra, and other major urban centers over the coming days as protests continue. Disruptions to Internet and telecommunications services are also expected to continue amid the unrest. Clashes between protesters and security forces are likely near all protest sites.
Demonstrations broke out in Iraq on October 1 to protest perceived government corruption, inadequate provision of public services, and a lack of job opportunities. Following weeks of relative calm, demonstrations violently resumed on October 24-25, coinciding with the deadline issued by Grand Ayatollah Sistani to the government to produce a report on who in the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) was responsible for firing at civilians during previous demonstrations. An estimated 340 people have been killed and 15,000 wounded since protests began. On October 31, President Barham Saleh announced that Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi agreed to resign if the Iraqi parliament's party blocs can agree on a replacement.
Individuals in Baghdad and across Iraq are advised to closely monitor the situation, avoid all protests and large public gatherings due to potential violence, prepare for disruptions to transportation and business in areas affected by anti-government demonstrations, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.
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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