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Iraqi security forces use live fire to disperse protesters in Baghdad

Riot police stand at Al Shuhada bridge during ongoing anti-government protests, in Baghdad, Iraq November 5, 2019. (Reuters)
Riot police stand at Al Shuhada bridge during ongoing anti-government protests, in Baghdad, Iraq November 5, 2019. (Reuters)
07 Nov 2019 02:11:24 GMT9
07 Nov 2019 02:11:24 GMT9
  • There appeared to be no casualties
  • Blocking of Iraq's major Umm Qasr port cost country $6 billion

Baghdad, Reuters

Iraqi security forces opened fire on Wednesday to disperse protesters gathered on Baghdad’s Shuhada bridge, shooting live bullets in the air, a Reuters witness said.

There appeared to be no casualties.

Protesters had blocked the bridge since Tuesday afternoon as part of efforts to bring the country to a standstill, with thousands continuing to partake in anti-government protests in the capital and southern provinces.

Meanwhile, Iraqi protesters have blocked the entrance to the Nassiriya oil refinery in the south, security and oil sources told Reuters.

The protesters blocked the tankers that transport fuel to gas stations from entering the refinery, which caused fuel shortages across Dhi Qar province, the sources said.

Also on Wednesday, a spokeskan for prime minister Adel Abdul Mahdi said the blocking of Iraq's major Umm Qasr port on the Gulf by anti-government protesters had cost the country over $6 billion so far.

“The closure of Umm Qasr port harms the country. Hundreds of trucks are still parked. This issue is causing massive damage to the nation. Iraq's losses have exceeded $6 billion until now,” said Abdul Kareem Khalaf in a news conference.

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