Iraq: 12 burnt bodies extracted in protest-hit province

BAGHDAD

Iraqi authorities said Saturday 12 burnt corpses were extracted in Dewaniya, one day after mass protests against unemployment and corruption in the southern province. 

The Dewaniya health circle said the bodies were pulled out of the governor’s office and the burnt-down premises of political parties in the province, according to local media.

Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets in the capital Baghdad and southern provinces on Friday against perceived government corruption, unemployment and lack of basic services.

At least 31 people were killed and more than 2,300 others injured during the demonstrations, according to Iraq’s High Commission for Human Rights.

In a Saturday statement, the Iraqi Interior Ministry said a number of security personnel were killed and injured when security forces came under attack with firearms and stones during Friday’s rallies.

It, however, did not give an exact number of casualties among security forces.

Discontent has been growing in Iraq in recent years due to rising unemployment rates and rampant corruption. Many in the country have limited access to basic services such as electricity and clean water.

According to the World Bank figures, Iraq has a high rate of youth unemployment around 25%. It is also ranked as the 12th most-corrupt country in the world by several transparency organizations.
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