Electricity Minister Offers to Quit After Violent Demos

(Sources: AFP, Associated Press)

Iraqi Electricity Minister, Karim Wahid, offered to resign on Monday after a wave of bloody street protests demanding his dismissal over harsh power rationing in the scorching summer heat.

Public anger with the work of the electricity ministry has boiled over in recent days as temperatures have hit highs of 54 degrees Celsius (130 degrees Fahrenheit) in southern Iraq.

On Monday, hundreds of angry demonstrators pelted riot police guarding the Dhi Qar provincial government headquarters in the southern city of Nasiriyah with stones, putting 17 of them in hospital, a security official said.

Police in the main southern city of Basra killed one demonstrator and wounded two when they opened fire on a frenzied crowd throwing stones at provincial government offices there On Saturday.

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