Commander of police in Basra announced that his forces have detained several ISIL terrorists among the protestors in the Iraqi city.
General Rashid Falih told reporters on Sunday that the security forces have arrested a number of ISIL terrorists who had worn masks, set fire at buildings and provoked people into violence.
“The ISIL terrorists had also set up safe hideouts and houses, they received salary in dollar and targeted the police forces with Molotov cocktails,” he added.
Falih also said that 17 police forces were injured in Molotov cocktail attacks launched by the ISIL-affiliated terrorists.
The protests in Iraq that started early in this month subsided after the public engaged in holding the annual massive march of Arbaeen, but restored last week after religious rituals of the second month of the Islamic calendar were over.
In the first round of public protests 3 weeks ago, analyses revealed that 79% of hashtags about protests in Iraq on Twitter originated from Saudi Arabia and only 6% were from Iraq, in a stark contrast with claims that the demonstrations were popular and spontaneous.
Iraq’s Grand Ayatollah Seyed Ali Sistani warned against the infiltration of agents with malevolent intentions into public protests in the Arab country, calling upon demonstrators and security forces to keep anti-occupation rallies peaceful.
“Don’t let those with vicious intentions to infiltrate among you and attack security forces,” the official representative of Ayatollah Sistani in Iraq Abdul Mahdi al-Karbalai said, conveying a message of the senior cleric.
He added that public protest is a right enshrined in the Constitution, and warned that, however, protests should not be used as a pretext for vandalizing public properties or injuring security forces.