At least five people were shot dead by security forces overnight between Monday, November 4, and Tuesday, November 5, as protests continue across Iraq.
Two people were killed and at least 23 others wounded in clashes in the southern town of Shatrah. Security forces opened fire on a mob of protesters attempting to break into the house of a senior government official.
Live rounds were reportedly used in the port city of Um Qasr as well, where demonstrators have staged a sit-in since Wednesday, October 30. At least two people were killed and dozens of others wounded after police forcibly dispersed the protesters in an attempt to reopen the port. Clashes continued into the morning (local time) of Tuesday during a funeral procession for a slain demonstrator. Some protesters reportedly hurled stones at security forces, who responded with live fire. At least one additional person was killed.
Internet access remains cut off to most parts of Iraq as of Tuesday evening. According to media reports, internet service disruptions are ongoing in Baghdad, Basra, Karbala, and other major population centers. It is unclear how long the restrictions will remain in place.
Heightened security measures and disruptions to transportation and business are to be expected in Baghdad and other major urban centers over the coming days as protests and the nightly curfew continues. Disruptions to internet and telecommunications services are also expected to continue amid the unrest. Clashes between protesters and security forces are likely around protest sites.
Demonstrations broke out 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. At least 260 people have been killed and 10,000 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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