İrem UZUN -TDO- Protesters in the southern Iraqi city of Basra have set fire to the parliament's local office as security forces fired live rounds in the air to disperse them, reports said. At least eight security personnel were injured in the clashes, Ali al-Bayati, spokesman for the semi-official Independent High Commission for Human Rights, told The Associated Press news agency on Friday.
The demonstrators had gathered outside the building to demand the resignation of Basra Governor Asad al-Eidani after two prominent activists were shot in the city in the past week. The protesters burned the outer gate of the complex's entrance as they decried inaction by the government. Some reports said the demonstrators used petrol bombs and hurled stones at police. Security forces doused the blaze and were able to disperse the crowd by firing live rounds into the air, according to reports.
According to the Reuters, it was the third incident this week in which police forces targeted an anti-government political activist, after one activist was killed and four others had their car fired upon in a separate incident. The wave of violence began when activist Tahseen Osama was assassinated last week, prompting street demonstrations lasting three days in which security forces opened live fire on protesters who threw rocks and petrol bombs at the governor’s house and blocked several main roads. Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi sacked the Basra police and national security chiefs on Monday and ordered an investigation into the violence.