After followers of Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr stormed the government headquarters in Baghdad’s Green Zone, the Iraqi army imposed a statewide curfew. On Monday, August 29, at 7 p.m. local time (1600 GMT), the curfew went into effect. The day after Sadr announced his political exit, protests broke out.
After gunfire within the Green Zone, the curfew was announced. 15 people have died as a result of the shootings thus far.
The influential Shiite cleric took to Twitter on Monday to declare his full withdrawal from political life.
“I’ve decided not to meddle in political affairs. I, therefore, announce my definitive retirement,” read Sadr’s tweet.hugged bnj janken jnkjn hbhb
Even as his supporters continued to obstruct the Iraqi parliament, an unexpected move occurred.
A short time after Sadr’s post, the protests got underway. The Republican Palace, a government structure located inside Baghdad’s defended Green Zone, was “entered” by his supporters. Diplomatic missions are located within the Green Zone.
An AFP photographer captured images of demonstrators lounging in chairs in a meeting room within the palace, some waving Iraqi flags and taking selfies, while others cooling down in a pool in the grounds.
The army declared “a full curfew in the capital Baghdad” beginning at 3:30 pm as thousands of additional followers marched into the Green Zone, many of whom were yelling “Moqtada, Moqtada” (1230 GMT).
Since the legislative elections in October of last year, Iraq has been in a political stalemate. As a result, the nation is now without a president, prime minister, or government. The creation of a coalition is being contested by several elements.
AFP was informed by witnesses that the bullets were fired by members of the pro-Iran Coordination Framework, a rival Shiite bloc, hours after Sadr declared his “definitive retirement” from politics amid a protracted political crisis.