March 5, 2011
Iraqi security forces used water cannon and batons to disperse protesters in the southern oil hub of Basra on Friday as thousands of Iraqis rallied around the nation against corrupt officials and poor basic services.
Demonstrations against a shortage of jobs, electricity, water and other basic services have been rising as Iraqis, inspired by protests around the Arab world, demand reforms from a formed in December after elections last year.
In central Basra around 700 protesters near the provincial council building were forcibly removed by Iraqi soldiers and police after they refused to stop demonstrating.
A Reuters reporter at the scene said some journalists were also beaten by security forces. A vehicle ban was in effect.