Iraqi PM announces arrest of 100 ‘infiltrators’ in recent protests

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Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced the formation of a new council that will investigate corrupt officials in the different governorates, adding that his government is assessing procedures to quickly provide work for the unemployed.

Abadi has also ordered the arrest of more than 100 people, whom he described as “infiltrators” in the protests, revealing that investigations showed different entities behind these people. However, he did not give any further information about who the entities were for security reasons.

At least 14 people have been killed in Iraq in two weeks of protests over corruption and lack of public services, Fadel al-Garawi, a member of the Iraqi High Commission for Human Rights, told AFP.

He added that 275 protestors and 470 security personnel were injured during the protests.

Meanwhile, Garawi said that 828 protestors were arrested so far, most of which have been released.

Local officials and medical sources said most of the dead were killed by gunfire from unidentified assailants, while one person suffocated on tear gas used to disperse the demonstrators.

At least one Basra demonstrator was killed by security forces, local officials said, but authorities have also accused “vandals” of infiltrating protests.

Gharrawi, who was appointed by parliament, said he had “urged Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to avoid violence and indiscriminate arrests” but also called on protesters to “behave peacefully”.

- With AFP