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Death Toll of Clashes in Iraq’s Capital Reaches 30
By Staff, Agencies
According to latest reports, 30 people have been killed and 700 others have been injured after clashes erupted between Iraqi security forces and followers of cleric Muqtada Sadr in Baghdad’s Green Zone.
On Monday, hundreds of the Iraqi politician’s supporters, who announced his decision to quit politics, broke into Baghdad’s Green Zone where government buildings and foreign embassies are located, surrounded the Republican Palace and entered the building.
Iraq’s cabinet has shut down government offices due to the ongoing curfew, the Iraqi News Agency [INA] reported.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi “directed that official working hours are off” on Tuesday, the agency said, citing a statement from the cabinet.
However, despite the nationwide curfew, clashes continued in the capital and a number of regions of Iraq.
At least seven shells fell in Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone, a security source has said according to the AFP news agency.
The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, could not provide a full assessment of the situation. It was not immediately clear who was behind the shelling, which was followed by the sound of automatic weapons being fired through the Green Zone.
In parallel, Iraq has deployed army units on the streets of Baghdad to reinforce security as riots continued, media reported on Monday.
The army arrived to reinforce the security forces present in the city, the Al Arabiya broadcaster reported.
At the same time, al-Kadhimi issued a decree banning security forces from opening fire at demonstrators.
Air raid sirens went off in the US embassy located in the "Green Zone" of Baghdad, Shafaq News reported Tuesday.
According to the report, explosions were heard in the "Green Zone."
Meanwhile, several countries urged their citizens to leave Iraq and issued travel alerts. Neighboring Iran closed its border with its Arab neighbor.
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