Iraqi PM's convoy chased, attacked by protesters after attending poet's funeral
Angry protesters threw stones at the convoy of Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi on Saturday after he attended the funeral of late poet Muzaffar Al-Nawab.
Iraq's renowned communist poet Al-Nawab, who faced jail time and exile in the 1960s, died in an Emirati hospital aged 88 on Friday.
Demonstrators pelted Al-Kadhimi’s convoy with stones as soon as the prime minister arrived at the Union of Writers headquarters, chanting anti-government slogans and blaming the government for the worsening socio-economic situation in the war-ravaged country.
Some speculated that the protesters attacking Al-Kadhimi’s convoy were supporters of pro-Iranian factions in the country, which were dealt a heavy blow in last year’s parliamentary election.
His convoy whizzed off as men chased the vehicles and security tried to stop them.
🔻بالصور— أحمد عجاج (@AhmadaJ1985) May 21, 2022
بالقنادر والحجارة عناصر الميليشيات الموالية لإيران يرمون عجلات رئيس الوزراء " مصطفى الكاظمي " في تشيع الشاعر مظفر النواب pic.twitter.com/vW592yFEWm
An attempt on Al-Khadimi’s life failed in November after suspected Shia militias launched a drone strike on his official residence in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad.
Like several countries, Iraq has witnessed skyrocketing food prices, exacerbated by the Russian war on Ukraine, two of the world’s biggest wheat exporters.
Iraq also agreed this month to pay $1.6 billion in debt to Iran by June 1 to secure a steady gas supply for power generation through the summer.
Chronic underinvestment through decades of war and sanctions has left Iraq dependent on imports from its eastern neighbour for a third of its gas needs.