Iraq: 10 people killed, 150 injured in protests in Baghdad as al-Sadr stages hunger strike
By Mahmoud Barakat
(AA): Amid deadly unrest in Iraq, influential cleric and Sadrist movement head Muqtada al-Sadr announced on Monday that he was staging a hunger strike until the violence came to an end, according to the official INA news agency. Ten people have been killed and 150 injured in protests in Baghdad.
Al-Sadr “has announced a hunger strike, until the violence and the use of weapons stop,” INA said, citing a tweet by the head of the resigned Sadrist bloc, Hassan al-Athari.
“The corrupt community does not give anyone, no matter what, a justification for the use of violence from all sides,” al-Athari said.
Earlier on Monday, at least ten protesters were killed and 150 injured after supporters of al-Sadr stormed the Republican Palace, the seat of the Iraqi government in Baghdad, according to local media.
The situation deteriorated in Baghdad earlier in the day after al-Sadr said he was quitting politics for good.
The Republican Palace is in the heavily fortified Green Zone, which houses government agencies and several foreign diplomatic missions.
Iraqi authorities declared a nationwide curfew in an attempt to quell the unrest.
Political parties in the country have been unable to form a new government since the last elections on Oct. 10, 2021.
[Photo: Supporters of Muqtada al-Sadr stage a demonstration after Muqtada al-Sadr announced his total withdrawal from politics in Dhi Qar, Iraq on August 29, 2022. Photojournalist: Arshad Mohammed/AA]
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