Protests spread, turn deadly in Iraq: At least 8 are dead, dozens hurt

Iraqi security forces form a human barrier as protesters demonstrate against unemployment and a lack of basic services in the southern Iraqi city of Basra, on Sunday, July 15.

Baghdad (CNN)At least eight people are dead and dozens injured in weeklong protests over jobs and basic services, Iraq's Ministry of Health spokesman Saif al-Bader said Monday.

The protests started in the southern Iraq port city of Basra and spread to different areas of the country.
At least 56 people have been wounded, seven of them critically, Bader said in a news conference.
    Protesters react as Iraqi security forces fire tear gas during a demonstration against unemployment and a lack of basic services in the southern Iraqi city of Basra, on Sunday, July 15.
    Of the eight dead, two were killed in Basra, two in Najaf, three in al-Simawa and one in Karabala. A Ministry of Health worker was killed in a car accident related to the protests and one ambulance worker remains in critical condition, Bader said.
      The Ministry of Electricity has taken steps to improve service in Basra, said spokesman Musa'ab al-Mudaris at the same press conference.

      Heat, power issues add to unrest

      Angry protests over unemployment and the lack of basic services have spread across southern Iraq since last week, as the oil-rich country tries to recover after many years of war.
      The protests were exacerbated by issues such as sweltering heat, power cuts, water quality and sanitation problems.