Media reports indicate that at least 13 people have been killed and another 20 are injured in clashes on Thursday, November 28, in the city of Nasiriyah. In the ongoing protests, participants have taken control of the al-Nasr and al-Zaytoun bridges. Local officials have implemented a curfew in response to the clashes.
In Baghdad, an estimated 10,000 people have demonstrated in Tahrir Square between Wednesday, November 27, and Thursday, November 28. Less disruptive protests have also been reported in Zubayr on Thursday, with gatherings also being reported in the vicinity of the Railway Line (G78), where protesters have blockaded the road.
This comes several hours after protesters set fire to the Iranian consulate in Najaf on Wednesday, November 27, prompting security forces to fire live ammunition to disperse crowds outside the building, wounding at least 33 people. Authorities in Najaf immediately declared a curfew following the attack.
Heightened security measures and disruptions to transportation and businesses are to be expected in Baghdad, Najaf, and other major urban centers over the coming days as protests continue. 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.
Individuals in 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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