Power protests roil Dhi Qar province again

Security forces arrested 37 for illegal demonstration but province officials blame central government for shorting energy supply.
Iraqis protesting chronic electricity shortages clash with security forces in Nassiriya, June 21, 2010. (STAFF/Iraq Oil Report)

NASSIRIYA, IRAQ - Riot police pounded protesters with water hoses in Dhi Qar province this weekend, as 37 were arrested. The up-and-coming oil province, usually calm, has been enflamed by public sentiment that blames Baghdad for neglecting to provide its citizens with electricity during a summer heat wave – a claim backed by two key local officials.

"The council of the Dhi Qar province holds the Ministry of Electricity responsible for collapse of security situation in the province and security breaches that occurred," said Provincial Council Chairman Qusay al-Abaidi. He said federal officials in Baghdad were responsible for failing to supply adequate power – an offense that feels especially acute during Ramadan in the very religious southern province.

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