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Iraqis Attack Government Offices Over Public Services

Crowds set fire to the governor's house of Wasit province.
Around 2,000 people attacked government offices and tried to set fire to the governor's house to protest poor public services in the Iraqi city of Kut, in Wasit province south of Baghdad.

The Associated Press quoted provincial spokeswoman Sondos al-Dahabi as saying at least 13 people were injured in the protest.

The French AFP news agency quoted police and hospital officials as saying one person was shot dead by a security guard during the melee. It also said nearly 30 people were injured.

Following recent uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, Iraqis have staged small-scale protests demanding better public services, such as electricity.

Cutting Official Salaries

Meanwhile, a top Iraqi official said today that the government planned to slash the salaries of ministers and members of parliament.

Cabinet General Secretary Ali al-Alaak said the new legislation would result in savings of at least $19 million a year.

If approved by the cabinet, the bill will need to be passed by parliament.

The new legislation will reduce Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's own salary to $10,100 per month, from $27,000 now, while Iraq's 42 ministers and 325 members of parliament will receive $6,200 monthly, down from their present salaries of $10,000.

compiled from agency reports