Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said Tuesday that there are those who are trying to break through the popular demonstrations demanding better public services, in order to create problems, without revealing their identity.
"We stress our security forces to protect the citizens and their property, and what is happening in the province of Basra is now under investigation," Abadi said during his weekly press conference after a cabinet meeting in Baghdad.
Last Sunday, a protestor was killed and three others wounded when security forces fired to disperse demonstrators north of Basra, demanding jobs and electricity, according to a security source.
But the Iraqi army said in a statement that "the dead man was armed and had nothing to do with the protesters, and was part of an armed group tried to disrupt the work of oil companies."
Abadi said that "attacking the security forces is red line," noting that "there are those who try to penetrate peaceful demonstrations to create problems."