Iraq’s law enforcement forces fired live bullets to disperse a demonstration near the headquarters of a Chinese oil company in the southern governorate of Maysan on Sunday.

A local media quoted eyewitnesses who told that the demonstrators clashed with the security forces in the al-Kahla district, southeast Maysan.

“The security forces used live bullets, tear gas, and water cannons to disperse the demonstrators who gathered at the front gates of PetroChina headquarters,” an eyewitness said.

“Some demonstrators sustained varying injuries in the clashes. Many have been arrested as well,” the eyewitness continued.

“The demonstrators demanded sparing some water for the marches of the district and improving the services and infrastructure,” another eyewitness said.

Earlier today, Shafaq News Agency quoted a source who said that PetroChina might decamp from Iraq if the demonstrations near its sites in the southern governorate of Maysan continue to jeopardize the safety of its employees.

The source who is familiar with the matter revealed that the company said it might relocate to another governorate or leave the country if the demonstrators continue to hamper the company’s security and the safety of its workers.

“If the Chinese company leaves the country, Iraq will lose 500 thousand barrels a day,” the source said, adding “more than 5,000 Iraqis will also lose their jobs.”

“Locals from the al-Kahla area demand the company provide them with potable water and electricity. However, this is not within the mandate or capabilities,” the source continued.

“It also resolutely rejected offering more job grades,” the source added.

PetroChina is one of the major oil and gas producers and distributors in China, engaged in a wide range of activities related to oil, gas and new energy, and sustainably provides energy and oil products for economic and social development.

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