Iraq police shoot dead protester over power cuts



Iraq police shoot dead protester over power cuts 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 basic services.

Elsewhere in Iraq, officials said gunmen sped up to a checkpoint and opened fire today, killing three anti-al-Qaida Sunni fighters.

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.

PTI