Iraq troops deployed across Baghdad to quell protests
Iraqi counter-terrorism forces have deployed across the capital Baghdad, as anti-government rallies continued into their second week, putting social problems and a lack of basic services in the spotlight.
A police source told The New Arab's Arabic-language service on Tuesday that security forces are beefing up security around the capital's main airport and to the sites of protests.
"Security forces have deployed around Baghdad international airport. They have blocked all the side roads leading to the airport and have set up a checkpoint on the highway," the source said.
"They have also deployed to the nearby neighbourhoods of al-Amal and al-Bayaa."
He added that the forces dispersed a crowd of protesters of around 100 people in northwest Baghdad by firing shots into the air.
On Monday evening, dozens of protesters gathered in the capital's Tahrir square and shouted slogans condemning authorities for their crackdown on demonstrations.
Hundreds of protesters in Baghdad closed a highway on Sunday as they chanted slogans such as: "The people want to overthrow the regime".
Since the daily protests began on 8 July in the southern city of Basra, eight people have been killed in various cities, according to the health ministry.
"Protests in Baghdad will go on to express solidarity with people in the south until the government answers to our demands," protest organiser Mohammed Muayad told The New Arab.
Security forces in the oil-rich Basra province have started arresting protesters who took part in the week-long demonstrations to demand more jobs and better government services, activists said on Monday.
Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi flew into the city on Friday in an effort to restore calm, a day later announcing investment worth $3 billion for Basra province.
He also pledged additional spending on housing, schools and services in the oil-rich but neglected region.