‘More dangerous than Isis’: power cuts leave Iraqis boiling with rage

Under a scorching sun, a man in faded blue overalls hung from a boom on the back of a truck, attempting to stitch together some unpromising bundles of electrical cables.

“We are in an endless game of fix and repair,” said Faris, a young, earnest engineer as he watched his colleague grapple with ancient wires that needed welding back into a battered electricity grid, itself a relic of the Saddam era.

The maddening confusion of cables looked like thickets of wild vines springing from rusted electricity poles. Most of the wires carried power from private generators that are more reliable than the state’s patchy electricity.