October 29, 2019 / 2:40 PM / 24 days ago

Operations slow at Iraq's Umm Qasr port after protesters block entrance - officials

BASRA, Iraq, Oct 29 (Reuters) - Operations slowed by around 80% at Iraq’s Umm Qasr commodities port near Basra on Tuesday after protesters blocked its entrance, port employees and local officials said.

“Port operations were reduced to 20 percent because the replacement workers couldn’t join the work,” said a port manager.

Thousands of Iraqis took to the streets this week in a second wave of protests against a government and a political elite they say is corrupt and out of touch. The death toll since a broader wave of unrest started on Oct. 1 is at least 250 people.

Reporting by Aref Mohammed; Writing by Ahmed Rasheed

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