Mar. 29, 2005 – One day after Iraqi government bodyguards fired into a crowd of workers who were demanding full payment of their wages, an Iraqi cabinet member warned citizens against participating in public protests. Interior Minister Falah Al-Naqib said Sundayâ€™s protest by workers at the Science and Technology Ministry, during which bodyguards for Minister Rashad Mandan Omar killed one demonstrator, was an effort to "destabilize" Iraq. He suggested that such events would invite large-scale terrorist attacks.
Hamid Balasem, an engineer at the Ministry, told reporters that about 50 guards who worked there were demonstrating because they had not been paid their full wages. Haithem Jassim, one of three people injured in the shooting, said, "We didn't carry any weapons or have any intention of shooting, but the minister's body guards started firing on us."