Iraqi protesters storm parliament for the second time this week – National

Hundreds of followers of an influential Shiite cleric breached Iraq’s parliament on Saturday, the second time in a week, to protest the government formation efforts lead by Iran-backed groups.

Iraqi security forces used tear gas and sound bombs to try to repel the demonstrators and caused several injuries witnessed by journalists for The Associated Press. An expected parliament session did not take place and there were no lawmakers in the hall.

Iraq’s Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi directed security forces to protect demonstrators and asked them to keep their protest peaceful, according to a statement.

Read more:

Canada extends military mission in Iraq for another year

Thousands of demonstrators, the followers of influential cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, used ropes to pull down cement barricades leading to the gate of Iraq’s Green Zone, which houses official buildings and foreign embassies.

Story continues below advertisement

They were heeding al-Sadr’s call to protest the formation of the next government lead by the Coalition Framework, an alliance of Shiite parties backed by Iran.

“We came today to remove the corrupt political class and prevent them from holding a parliament session, and to prevent the Framework from forming a government,” said Raad Thabet, 41. “We responded to al-Sadr’s call. We will go to the Green (Zone). No matter the cost.”


Click to play video: 'Artist who escaped to Canada from Iraq using paint and canvas to raise funds for refugees'



2:06
Artist who escaped to Canada from Iraq using paint and canvas to raise funds for refugees


Artist who escaped to Canada from Iraq using paint and canvas to raise funds for refugees – Dec 18, 2021

Al-Sadr’s party exited government formation talks in June, giving his rivals in the Coordination Framework alliance the majority they needed to move forward with the process.

Many protesters wore black to mark the days leading to Ashura, which commemorates the death of Imam Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Mohamed and one of Shiite Islam’s most important figures. Al-Sadr’s messaging to his followers has used the important day in Shiite Islam to kindle protests.

Story continues below advertisement

Al-Sadr has used his large grassroots following as leverage against his rivals.

On Wednesday, hundreds of his followers stormed the parliament building after the Framework alliance named Mohammed al-Sudani as their nominee for the premiership and signaled their readiness to form a government despite his threats.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

Source link

Denial of responsibility! insideheadline is an automatic aggregator around the global media. All the content are available free on Internet. We have just arranged it in one platform for educational purpose only. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials on our website, please contact us by email – admin@insideheadline.com. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Source: News