Three people have been killed and dozens wounded in clashes between security forces and protesters in a southern Iraqi province, after around 2,000 people attacked government offices in protest over poor services.
Protesters took threw rocks and took over a provincial council building in Kut in Wasit province, about 160km southeast of Baghdad, on Wednesday. Three government buildings were set on fire, including the governor's official residence.
A police source in Kut said three protesters were killed in clashes and about 30 wounded, including 15 policemen. A hospital source said one of the dead was a 16-year-old boy who suffered a bullet to the chest.
Demonstrators are demanding Latif Hamad al-Tarfa, the provincial governor, resign over poor basic services such as electricity and water.
They held up placards [#8] that said, "To all citizens: Electricity is only for officials", a reference to Iraq's dramatic shortfall in power provision.
"We demand that our rights be met, that we have better services and that the authorities fight corruption," Ali Mohsen, a 54-year-old professor at Wasit university, said.
"We demand that the governor resign ... all we need is services."
An official told Al Jazeera that protesters were enraged by comments by al-Tarfa belittling demonstrators at a much smaller protest [#47] a week ago.
Narrative: "Crazy Iraqis! And after all we did for them!"
I'm going to ride the "dense networks as social capital" hobbyhorse for awhile, and see where it goes, so and but it's not surprising to see a governor's mansion burned, as opposed to a public square taken over and then voluntarily cleaned and policed, because the Iraqis suffered our war, and then our occupation, which was designed to privatize everything and destroy what little social capital the Iraqis had. And, oh yeah, corruption on a massive scale by the occupying force, and didn't rebuild the physical capital either. So the Iraqis have no power, in both senses. Failing ugly.