Iraqi security forces dispersed by force on Friday protesters who had been blocking the entrance to the country’s main Gulf Umm Qasr port near Basra and reopened it, port officials told Reuters.
Employees were able to enter the port, the entrance to which protesters had been blocking since Monday, but operations had not resumed yet, the sources said.
Umm Qasr was previously blocked from October 29 to November 9 with a brief resumption of operations between November 7-9. It receives imports of grain, vegetable oils and sugar shipments that feed a country largely dependent on imported food.
Protests in southern Iraq have been crippling some of the country’s main ports and oilfields, threatening oil exports, particularly to India, industry sources told Al Arabiya English on Tuesday.