Unemployment Riots in Baghdad and Basra for Second Day
Hundreds of former soldiers rioted in Basra and demonstrated in Baghdad on Sunday, after similar violence on Saturday in Basra, Baghdad and Hilla. In Basra, four hundred men closed the main road. British troops fired rubber bullents to disperse them, wounding five people. At one point an enraged crowd pursued hapless Iraqi police into a university building when the officers ran out of ammunition.
The former soldiers say that they have run out of money and are depending on the US stipends of $40 a month. On Saturday, the riots were provoked by rumors that the payments would not be made to everyone, or that this was the last such payment. Payments could not be made on Sunday in Basra because the list of those who would receive them had been destroyed in the riots of the previous day. (-Reuters, al-Zaman).