At least one person was killed after violence erupted between protesters and security forces on Saturday, November 28, in the southern city of Kut (Wasit province). Authorities in Kut imposed new restrictions on movement at dawn on Saturday following demonstrations on Friday, November 27, which occurred across the country. Anti-government demonstrators defied the lockdown and gathered in the city. Skirmishes were reported between protesters and security forces, as police fired tear gas in an effort to disperse their camp.
Further clashes are possible in the near term. A heightened security presence is expected. Localized disruptions should also be anticipated.
Nationwide demonstrations were held on Friday, November 27, organized by activists associated with Shia Muslim cleric Muqtada al-Sadr in support of his candidacy in the June 2021 parliamentary elections. Thousands gathered in Tahrir Square in Baghdad, and at al-Haboubi Square in Nasiriyah (Dhi Qar province), and other southern provinces to show their support for al-Sadr. In Nasiriyah, clashes ensued between grass-root demonstrators and supporters of al-Sadr. Anti-government activists accused Sadrists of shooting at them, throwing petrol bombs, and torching their tents in the main gathering in the square, which resulted in protesters fighting back. Clashes continued into Friday night. Local medics reported at least six fatalities as a result of the clashes.
Those in Kut are advised to avoid all demonstrations as a precaution, monitor developments, anticipate associated disruptions, and heed official instructions issued by local authorities.
Copyright and Disclaimer