By John Lee.
A British employee of security firm G4S has reportedly been injured by a group of workers at a Schlumberger camp near the Rumaila oilfield.
The Daily Star says the man had tried to remove a picture of Imam Ali, and flags and pamphlets commemorating Imam Hussein, venerated figures in Shiite Islam, allegedly cutting them down with a knife.
Reuters reports that the security adviser asked Iraqi workers to take down a flag and banners, and when the workers refused he removed them himself, tearing one portrait Imam Hussein.
In the ensuing row, the security adviser pulled out a gun and fired several shots, wounding an Iraqi worker and drawing dozens of people from a nearby village to join the workers in storming the camp.
The South Oil Company (SOC) said production at Rumaila was not affected, but Schlumberger is said to have suspended its operations in response to this and other incidents in the province.
Video footage of the incident can be seen here.
Baker Hughes has issued force majeure notices in relation to its operations in Basra following protests.
(Sources: Reuters, Daily Star)
(Picture: Rumaila de-gassing station)