Evening Express

Iraq’s embattled PM arrives in Basra after deadly protest

Iraq’s embattled prime minister Haider al-Abadi has arrived in the southern city of Basra, where protests over poor public services and unemployment have left at least 15 people dead.

Mr al-Abadi, who took office in September 2014, a few months after the Islamic State onslaught in northern and western Iraq, has been widely blamed for the use of excessive force against the protesters. He is also under fire for poor performance regarding public services.

Workers throw out wreckage from the burned Basra Government building following protests (AP)

Oil-rich Basra and other cities in Iraq’s southern Shia heartland have been protesting since July over endemic corruption, soaring joblessness and poor public services.

Protesters and security forces members have been killed in confrontations when demonstrators damaged and burned government offices and attacked security forces with stones and Molotov cocktails.