Suadad al-Salhy
February 4, 2011

Iraqi police opened fire on Thursday to disperse hundreds of angry residents protesting against shortages of power, water and other services near the southern city of Diwaniya, wounding three, officials said.

The crowd of about 1,000 tried to force its way into a local council building in the al-Hamza district south of the Diwaniya provincial capital, demanding improved food rations and more power and water.

Diwaniya is a poor, largely Shi’ite province that has suffered serious shortages. Protesters accused Shi’ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki of breaking promises to improve services.

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