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Iraqis riot again in Basra


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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- For the second day Basra, Iraqis protested against power outages, prompting British forces to fire warning shots into the air in an effort to restore calm, according to a British military spokesman.

Maj. Charlie Mayo said Sunday about 250 Iraqis involved in what he described as a "peaceful protest" in the southern Iraqi city, downplaying reports of widespread unrest.

Temperatures above 50 degrees Celsius (122 F) have contributed to the tensions in Basra. The hot weather, along with infrastructure problems, led to the breakdown of a power generator, preventing Iraqi drivers from using gas pumps to fill up their vehicles.

Basra's governor and tribal sheiks are accompanying British forces on their patrols, in an effort to encourage Iraqis not to riot.

On Saturday, Iraqis threw stones at one Basra gas station to protest what they deemed price gouging by the store's owner.

Several British forces were injured during the protests Saturday. Since then, the British forces have increased their military presence around the city.

-- From CNN Producer Kevin Flower in Baghdad


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