BREAKING: 12 protesters allegedly shot dead as violence escalates in Baghdad’s Green Zone in Iraq

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Violence has escalated dramatically in Baghdad’s Green Zone with reports of 12 protestors being shot dead.

 

The violence in Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone in Iraq has escalated significantly throughout today, Monday, August 29, according to local reports on social media. It is now believed that 12 protestors were shot dead this evening as pro-government groups battled with protestors.

Iraqi Security forces appear to be finding it increasingly more difficult to control the situation, with video footage showing the arrival of huge convoys of armed men, said to be supporters of Iraq’s powerful Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr. 

Trouble erupted early today following an announcement by Muqtada al-Sadr that he was withdrawing from political life. Supporters stormed the Republican Palace with security forces attempting to repel them by firing live ammunition and tear gas.

According to CNN, Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi issued an official statement suspending all meetings of his government until further notice. He reportedly urged al-Sadr to: “help call on the demonstrators to withdraw from government institutions”. A curfew has been declared in all provinces of Baghdad from 7pm local time.

“The difficult circumstance that our country is going through requires everyone to abide by calm, restraint, prevent escalation, and ensure that the situation does not slip into unknown and dangerous labyrinths in which everyone will lose”, read a statement from Barham Salih, the Iraqi president, as quoted by CNN.

“The security forces affirm their responsibility to protect government institutions, international missions, and public and private properties”, said a statement from the Iraqi military. “Dealing with peaceful demonstrations is done through the constitution and laws, and the security forces will do their duty to protect security and stability”, it added.

Another report claimed that the offices of Iran-backed militant groups like Asaib Ahl al-Haq and Hashd al-Shaabi have been attacked in Baghdad and Basra. Further reports claimed similar attacks had been carried out in Basra against the Sadr-linked Saraya al-Salam group.

 

US Embassy officials have reportedly been evacuated along with UN officials, with one video showing a line of vehicles leaving the building. Unconfirmed reports claimed that Nouri al-Maliki, the former Prime Minister of Iraq, had been evacuated to safety.

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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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