Protesters block entrance to Iraq’s Umm Qasr port

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Protesters have once again blocked the entrance to Iraq’s Umm Qasr commodities port near Basra, preventing employees and tankers from entering and bringing operations down by 50 percent, two port sources told Reuters on Monday.

If the blockage goes on until the afternoon, operations will come to a complete halt, the sources said. The port was previously blocked from Oct. 29 to Nov. 9 with a brief resumption of operations between Nov. 7-9.

Umm Qasr is Iraq’s main Gulf port. It receives imports of grain, vegetable oils and sugar shipments that feed a country largely dependent on imported food.

Anti-government protesters blocked on Sunday several roads and bridges in Iraq’s Basra, a go-to tactic for the regime change movement that erupted in early October, Iraqi News Agency reported.

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