AVA- The deaths occurred as security forces used force to disperse demonstrators, who had stormed the governor’s office in the city, according to eyewitnesses and a local official. 
Several other protesters were injured, while ten soldiers were injured as protesters threw stones at security forces, the same sources said, who spoke on condition of anonymity. 
Tensions have steadily mounted in Basra since last week when a demonstrator was killed by security forces while taking part in protests against high unemployment and chronic power outages. 
Ever since, protests have spread to several other provinces, including the capital Baghdad. 
On Friday, Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi visited Basra, where he promised to address the protesters’ grievances. 
Prominent Iraqi Shia cleric and politician Muqtada al-Sadr called for security forces not to use force against demonstrators. He also asked protesters to respect public property. 
Influential Najaf-based Shia cleric Ali al-Sistani, meanwhile, expressed support for the protesters. 
Roughly 80 percent of Iraq’s overall crude oil exports originate from oilfields in Basra province. 
For years, Basra residents have complained that foreign nationals, rather than locals, were being employed by the domestic energy sector. They also complain of frequent power outages amid summer temperatures that often reach as high as 50 degrees Celsius.
 
 

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