ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraq’s Joint Operations Command on Monday said the official page of the Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) had been hacked and denied staging a military coup amid nationwide protests.
According to a post on the CTS’ Facebook and Twitter pages on Sunday, the head of the counter-terrorism agency announced the start of a “military coup against the illegitimate government.”
However, on Monday, the Joint Operations Command confirmed that the CTS’ social media pages had been “hacked by weak-spirited people.”
“What was published on this page about disobedience was baseless and had no credibility at all,” it added.
CTS head Talib Shaghati al-Kanani, who, according to the post, had called for the coup, denied it, underlining in a statement on Monday that “the CTS has been and will always be a protector of the people” of Iraq.
The protests in Iraq over the past month and a half reflect widespread dissatisfaction with the economy, a call for more jobs, the dismal state of public services, and widespread government corruption.
Since they began in early October, widespread protests have resulted in the deaths of over 300, while some 16,000 have been injured, according to Iraq’s High Commission for Human Rights.
The United Nations, as well as Amnesty International, have called for an end to the bloodshed and urged security forces to show restraint against protestors.
Demonstrators in Iraq are calling for radical change in Iraq’s political system, which they say fails to address their needs, but, rather, serves the interests of a small governing elite.
Iraq’s Parliament was due to hold a session on Saturday to discuss the ongoing unrest in the country, but it was canceled due to a lack of quorum. The meeting is postponed to Monday.