Maliki draws violent protests in Basra

Demonstrations roil southern provinces in response to the former PM's visit, highlighting destabilizing rivalries within and among Shia political blocs.
Maliki draws violent protests in Basra
Police in riot gear try to keep order as protesters gather at the OIl Cultural Center in Basra on Dec. 11, 2016. (ALI AL-AQILY/Iraq Oil Report)

BASRA - Former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki was forced to cut short a speaking tour this week in southern Iraq, a stronghold of his political bloc, following violent protests.

The incidents highlighted the volatile rivalries within and among Iraq's Shia-majority political blocs, which have already destabilized and weakened the government of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.

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