At least eight people have been killed in clashes in central Baghdad on Monday following influential Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr’s announcement that he is retiring from political life.
Most of the dead would be demonstrators related to Al Sadr, according to the official NINA news agency, which has confirmed police charges in the Green Zone of the Iraqi capital, where the main institutions are located.
Security forces have used tear gas and live ammunition to contain the protesters, according to witnesses quoted by the DPA news agency. Among the institutions raided is the building that houses the prime minister’s office.
The authorities have imposed a curfew to try to contain this wave of violence, which has also spread to other areas of Iraq. In Basra, groups of protesters have also stormed public buildings, NINA reports.
Al Sadr, who had spent weeks mobilizing his hundreds of thousands of supporters in Baghdad to the point of having taken over Parliament twice, demanded the calling of new elections after ten months of failure to form a government.
Source: Europa Press