Three Iraqis killed in protests

06 October 2003
Three Iraqis were killed in separate clashes in Baghdad and Basra on 4-5 October as former Iraqi soldiers gathered in the two cities to collect payment from the US authorities. The deaths occurred after scores of former soldiers broke away from the queues to protest against the lack of payment. Shots were exchanged in the ensuing clashes, although there are conflicting reports as to who fired first. Two Iraqis were killed and many more injured in Baghdad. Two soldiers were also injured during the clashes in the capital. In Basra, a UK soldier shot dead an armed Iraqi man after hearing gunshots during a protest. UK troops attempted to disperse the crowds using rubber bullets (MEED 2:10:03).

Former Iraqi soldiers are entitled to a $40 stipend from the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA). CPA officials say that as many as 320,000 of the 440,000 former Iraqi soldiers have been paid the stipend. A senior CPA official said that Baathist officers are stirring the protests.

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