07:46 GMT +313 December 2018
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    Protesters raise an Iraqi flag over the Basra Government building during a demonstration demanding better public services and jobs in Basra, 340 miles (550 km) southeast of Baghdad, Iraq, Friday, Sept. 7, 2018

    Iraqi Military Announces Citywide Curfew in Basra Amid Ongoing Protests

    © AP Photo / Nabil al-Jurani
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    Earlier on Saturday, an Iraqi airport representative told the Associated Press (AP) that unidentified attackers had launched three Katyusha rockets at the facility, adding that no casualties or damages were reported as a result of the incident.

    Iraqi officials have imposed a curfew on Basra starting at 4:00 p.m. local time (13:00 GMT) on Saturday, a military statement said.

    According to the Alsumaria broadcaster, in spite of Iraqi authorities' several attempt to impose curfew in Basra in order to ease the situation, thousands of local citizens were leaving their houses every evening, and the protests showed no sign of fading.

    READ MORE: Iraqi PM Orders to Launch Investigation Into Security Forces' Work in Basra

    Prime Minister Haider Abadi addressed the situation in Basra during an emergency session in the Iraqi Parliament, warning against a politicization of the crisis.

    "Politics should be separated from security and services," the prime minister said, adding that he had ordered an investigation into the security forces "for not fulfilling their duties" during the unrest.

    The government has also dismissed the head of Basra Operations Command and the chief of Basra Police.

    The curfew was introduced in the second biggest city of the country amid violent mass protests over a lack of basic services and corruption, with demonstrators storming and torching presidential palaces, attacking the Iranian consulate and offices of pro-Iranian political parties.

    According to Iraqi Health Ministry spokesman Seif Badr, at least 13 people were killed and 50 injured during the clashes.

    Related:

    Iraqi PM Orders to Launch Investigation Into Security Forces' Work in Basra
    Protesters in Basra, Iraq Reportedly Set Iranian Consulate on Fire (PHOTO)
    Three Protesters Die During Clashes in Iraq's Basra - Reports
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    Protests, rocket, Iraq, Basra
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