Baghdad: A protest over electricity shortages
in Iraq`s southern port city of Basra turned deadly Saturday with
troops fatally shooting one demonstrator, police officials
said, underscoring rising tension over the country`s lack of
Elsewhere in Iraq, officials said gunmen sped up to a
checkpoint and opened fire today, killing three anti-al-Qaida
The unrest came a day after more than 30 people were
killed in a wave of violence targeting government officials,
Iraqi security forces and those seen as allied with them.
Police in Basra said one protester died and three were
wounded when security forces opened fire on the demonstrators.
They said five protesters were arrested.
Hundreds rallied outside Basra`s provincial council
building, demanding a more consistent electricity supply to
their homes and businesses and carrying banners reading:
"Return electricity to us" and "Prison is more comfortable
than our homes."
Police said they tried to control the crowd but
protesters started throwing stones at the council building and
set fire to a guard`s cabin, prompting the troops to open
fire. They said shots were first fired into the air to
disperse the crowd, but that failed to stop the violence.