12 killed in clashes between protesters, security forces

TEHRAN, Aug. 29 (MNA) – According to Iraqi medics and police sources, 12 people were killed and as many as 270 others injured in Monday clashes in the capital Baghdad.

Twelve people were killed and 270 more were injured after clashes erupted between Iraqi security forces and followers of Muqtada Sadr in Baghdad’s Green Zone on Monday, media reported.

Earlier in the day, demonstrators stormed the Republican Palace in Baghdad’s Green Zone, hours after influential Iraqi politician Muqtada Sadr announced his final retirement from politics and the closure of all party offices. Riots have also engulfed other provinces of Iraq, in the south of the country. The security forces took control of the Republican Palace in the capital after they reportedly used tear gas and water cannons against protesters.

Agence France-Presse reported that the death toll from clashes in Baghdad has risen to 12, with another 270 people having been injured by tear gas. Sky News Arabia previously reported about two dead and 19 injured.

The Iraqi authorities imposed a nationwide curfew on Monday from 19:00 p.m. local time (16:00 GMT) until further notice.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Mustafa Al-Kadhimi, has directed the Council of Ministers to suspend its sessions until further notice amid protests staged by Sadr's supporters.

Iraqi Prime Minister urged Muqtada Sadr to call on his followers to leave government buildings.

In an official statement, the Iraqi Prime Minister said, "The dangerous developments that took place in our dear Iraq today, with the demonstrators storming the Green Zone and entering government institutions, point to the seriousness of the consequences of continuing and accumulating political differences. While we affirm that the demonstrators’ violation of state institutions is a condemned act and outside the legal procedures, we call on His Eminence Sayyid Muqtada al-Sadr, who has always supported the state and emphasized keenness to preserve its stature and respect for the security forces to help call on the demonstrators to withdraw from government institutions. The persistence of the political dispute to the point of damaging all state institutions does not serve the Iraqi people, their aspirations, their future, and their territorial integrity. We renew the call for restraint from everyone, and we call on the demonstrators to immediately withdraw from the Green Zone and abide by the instructions of the security forces responsible for protecting official institutions and the lives of citizens."

ZZ/

News Code 190799

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