Iraqis clash with security forces

Hundreds of Iraqi protesters tried to break into the provincial government headquarters in the southern oil hub of Basra on Friday to demand better public services and an end to pervasive corruption.

No serious injuries were reported after minor clashes with riot police. Protests have swept cities in the long neglected south, Iraq’s Shiite Muslim heartland, over widespread electricity outages during the hot summer, a lack of jobs, proper government services and graft, AP said. Public anger is rising at a time when politicians are struggling to form a new government after an inconclusive parliamentary election in May. Iraq’s top Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani has expressed support for the protests.

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