Iraqis take to the streets again to demand better services

July 20, 2018 - 3:13 pm

BAGHDAD (AP) — Thousands have once again taken to the streets in the capital and the southern city of Basra demanding better public services and jobs.

In Baghdad, the protesters gathered Friday at Tahrir Square and tried to breach the Green Zone where the government sits.

Security forces fired water cannons and tear gas to disperse them, beating and arresting a number of demonstrators. No casualties were immediately reported.

In Basra, protesters gathered peacefully outside the local government building, for the first time since July 10 when scores were arrested. Security forces cordoned off the building.

The government maintains that the protesters' demands are legitimate, but says saboteurs are behind violence that has killed least nine people and wounded 60 others since the first protests began, according to the Health Ministry.