Drugs, tribes, politics a deadly mix in Iraq border province
War-scarred Iraq is trying to recover from years of violence after the 2003 US-led invasion which toppled dictator Saddam Hussein. Normality often hangs by a thread.
But in Maysan, violence is a near-daily occurrence with police and judicial officials regular targets of assassination attempts.
Over the past years, Iraq has seen a surge in the sale and use of drugs, particularly in central and southern provinces that border Iran and which often serve as main routes for narcotics, particularly the stimulant crystal meth.
Iraq’s interior ministry says Maysan has one of the highest rates of trafficking and consumption of drugs, and the provincial Security chief General Mohammed Jassem al-Zubaidi conceded that Maysan has served as a “route for drug trafficking”.