VIDEO: Protesters in Baghdad Break Into Parliament Building Territory

Sat Apr 30, 2016 18:15:33

The demonstrators who stormed Baghdad's "Green Zone" on Saturday are supporters of the Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, Reuters reported.

Supporters of Sadr, responding to their leader's call to pressure the Iraq government to reform, have been demonstrating for weeks at the gates of the heavily fortified district, which houses government buildings and foreign embassies.

Dozens of protesters climbed over the blast walls surrounding Baghdad's highly-fortified Green Zone and could be seen storming into parliament on Saturday, carrying Iraqi flags and chanting against the government, Reuters reports.

After months of protests, sit-ins and demonstrations outside Baghdad's Green Zone - home to most ministries and foreign embassies - Saturday's escalation marks the first time protesters have breached the compound's walls.

Earlier on Saturday, influential Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr accused Iraqi politicians of blocking efforts to implement political reform aimed at combating corruption and waste.

Increasingly tense protests and a series of failed reform measures have paralyzed Iraq's government as the country struggles to fight the the so-called Islamic State terror group and respond to an economic crisis sparked in part by a plunge in global oil prices.


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