Terrorists of the Islamic State group attacked a police outpost in Iraq's central province on December 21 and killed four policemen. The attack reportedly took place in the evening when terrorists attacked the outpost guarding oil pipelines in the north of the oil-refinery town of Baiji. A member of provincial police, Mohammed al-Bazi said that Baiji is located nearly 200 kilometres north of capital Baghdad. The armed clash which followed the attack killed one IS terrorist along with four police officials while one policeman sustained injuries.
Iraq has been facing massive anti-government protests for several weeks over unemployment, poverty, and economic inequality. Protesters have been demanding an end to the widespread corruption with a change in regime. But the protests have continued in the embattled region even after the resignation of Adel Abdel Mahdi as the Prime Minister of Iraq. The country suffers from severe poverty conditions. The people have acknowledged that there is a huge gap between the rich and poor that needs to be bridged.
One of the protesters told international media that they had to walk four kilometres to reach the protest camps as they cannot afford to pay for taxi fares. She lives in an informal shelter which is in a poor state. She further reflected on the poor health facilities in the country. There is an extreme lack of proper medical facilities. The hospitals are under-equipped and the doctors work under immense threat from the politically influential people.
Moussa Khalaf, an economic history professor in Diwaniyah, told international media that the degrading economic condition of the country is the major reason behind the mass demonstrations. There are over eight million people who are below the poverty line. According to the statement released by the World Bank, one of five Iraq people are poverty-stricken and the youth employment stands in one quarter. Iraq’s government has over the decade provided the maximum number of jobs but recently struggled due to a large number of graduate students against the available vacancies.