Conflict between protesters and military in Iraq, injuring at least 30 people



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Conflict between protesters and military in Iraq, injuring at least 30 people



THOUSANDS of protesters have blocked all roads leading to Um Qasr's main Gulf port after security forces opened fire and fired tear gas at protesters overnight, security forces said.

All port operations have been stalled since Wednesday after protesters blocked port access on Tuesday.



The large quantities of cereals, vegetable oils and sugars needed to feed in a country dependent on imported food are arriving at Um Qasr. Iran's oil exports take place mostly on nearby coastal platforms that are not affected by the unrest.

Protesters angry over violent expulsion

Commodity trucks cannot enter or leave the port. Some international shipping lines have stalled operations for blocking the port, harbor officials said.

The protesters set fire to the tires and set up concrete blocks.

They are angry about the violent attempt to disperse them. At least 30 people were injured, security and medical sources revealed.

The protests are part of a movement that has pulled tens of thousands of Iraqis into the streets for corruption and poor public services.

The Friday demonstrations in the capital, Baghdad, have been the largest anti-government demonstrations since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein in 2003. About 5,000 people protested on Friday in Basra, the largest city near the port.

More than 250 people have been killed in the unrest since early October. It is the most unsettling in southern Iraq, where it is mostly shi'ite and also has major oil producing areas.

Conflict between protesters and military in Iraq, injuring at least 30 people

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