Baghdad was left reeling on Tuesday from some of the deadliest violence seen in the Iraqi capital in years, after clashes sparked by a powerful cleric’s withdrawal from politics plunged the country deeper into crisis.
Medical sources told CNN that least 10 people were killed and more than 200 injured in the clashes which first erupted Monday. The violence continued into Tuesday morning, with four rockets landing in Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone and video footage showing gunmen firing rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns towards armored vehicles.
The bloodshed came after Iraqi Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr announced his “final retirement” from politics Monday and said he was closing down his political offices across the country.
The announcement prompted hundreds of al-Sadr’s supporters to storm the Green Zone and take over the Republican Palace, where Iraq’s cabinet meets. Protesters were seen swimming in the palace pool and waving Iraqi flags, while others clashed with Iraqi security forces.Read CNN
Video Shows Protesters Taking Over Iraqi Palace, Swimming in Pool | CNN