Middle East

Basra protests: Iraq government buildings torched in new unrest

Flames emerge from the Governorate Council building in Basra Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The Governorate Council building in the city was set alight

Protesters have attacked government and other key buildings in the southern Iraqi city of Basra as thousands again took to the streets, angry over corruption and the lack of services.

Crowds swarmed a state TV building and set fire to others, sources in the area told the BBC.

It is the fourth straight night of violent protests but the unrest has been rumbling since July.

At least seven people have been killed this week alone.

Iraqi politicians are struggling to form a functioning government following inconclusive elections in May.

The Prime Minister, Haider al-Abadi, has offered emergency funds but the protests have continued.

The latest came after a curfew ordered by the authorities in the capital Baghdad was cancelled minutes before it was due to come into effect.

"The people protest and the government doesn't care, treats them as vandals," a 25-year-old demonstrator told the AFP news agency.

People in the city are angry about the lack of basic services, including drinking water, and jobs.

Local residents say the government is corrupt and has allowed infrastructure to virtually collapse in the region that generates much of Iraq's oil wealth.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The demonstrators are angry at political corruption and lack of basic services
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The unrest began in July

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