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Two More Killed In Southern Iraq As Antigovernment Protests Spread

A demonstrator burns tires during protests in the southern Iraqi city of Basra on July 12.

At least two protesters were killed in southern Iraq as protests against economic hardship and corruption spread from the port of Basra to other parts of the country.

Protesters on July 14 stormed the provincial government building in Kerbala on the sixth day of rallies, which also took place in the city Najaf, where demonstrators stormed the airport and halted air traffic.

The two deaths in the city Amarah brought to three the number of protesters killed in the past week.

Seven protesters were injured in Basra, an important oil port that accounts for more than 95 percent of Iraq's oil revenue.

State television said Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi had announced the government would release funds to Basra for water, electricity, and health services.

Abadi earlier had issued a nationwide order to put security forces on high alert in the southern provinces in response to the unrest.

Troops from both the Counterterrorism Service and the army have been sent Basra to help protect the oil fields.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP