Iraqi vendors serving clients are seen through a broken window of a restaurant in a street in the southern Iraqi city of Basra on September 9, 2018. AFP / Haidar MOHAMMED ALI
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A sense of calm returned to Iraq's southern city of Basra Sunday after a week of violent protests over unemployment and poor public services that left at least 15 people dead and threatened stability in the oil-rich region.The oil-rich region and other cities in Iraq's southern Shiite heartland have been convulsed by the most serious protests in years, with residents complaining of power outages, filthy tap water and soaring unemployment.Iraq is still without a new government nearly four months after national elections in which no party won a majority.Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, part of the pro-U.S. bloc, and Basra's governor have traded blame for the crisis.In an emergency meeting on the public anger boiling over in Basra Saturday, two leading groups in Parliament called on Abadi to step down. Basra is Iraq's second-largest province and home to about 70 percent of the country's proven oil reserves of 153.1 billion barrels.
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