Iraq struggles with economic, energy crises as protests spread

Unrest over lack of electricity and other basic services that began in Basra last week has spread to other large cities.

Police and medical sources say at least 11 people have now died in protests in southern Iraq against the poor state of public services.

The unrest began in Basra last week and has spread to several other large cities.

One of the main reasons for the anger is the frequent power blackouts that are severely worsening living conditions. Some in Iraq are hoping that Iran can supply them with electricity via Iran’s national grid, prompting Saudi Arabia to offer aid.

The government in Baghdad is racing to find a way to meet some of the protesters’ demands for economic and energy reforms and bring an end to the protests before they turn into a large, nationwide movement.

Al Jazeera’s Imran Khan reports from Baghdad.