The violent protests in Iraq got worse on Monday as the clashes between the country’s forces and Iraqi Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr’s followers ended up claiming 15 lives and injuring over a hundred people.
The protesters were already staging sit-ins in front of the Presidential palace in Baghdad and the news of Al-Sadr quitting politics amidst the ongoing political crisis prompted them to break into the Green Zone.
As per the local media reports, the military ended up using stun grenades and tear gas in order to contain the crowd and in the process, a number of people ended up losing their lives on Monday.
It was a public uproar similar to what the world witnessed in Sri Lanka after the public broke into the residence of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s palace in protests over the economic crisis in the country.
Sadrist protestors swimming in the presidential palace pool.#Baghdad #Iraq pic.twitter.com/H20wUVsHgb
— Suhad Talabany (@TalabanySuhad) August 29, 2022
The similarities did not end there as Iraqi protestors were pictured cooling down in the pool – something that also happened when the protestors in Sri Lanka jumped into Rajapaksa’s pool in Colombo.
The conflict was caused by Iraq’s political crisis as the country has been without a stable government for more than 10 months – the longest since the United States attacked the country in 2003.
The parties were unable to find a solution after Al-Sadr’s bloc became the biggest faction in parliament but fell short of securing a majority in last year’s elections. The pro-Iran Coordination Framework picked Mohammed Shia al-Sudani as the Prime Minister but the protestors were not pleased.