08.04.2020

Concerns flare as unidentified gunmen kill protesters in Baghdad

More than 130 others were also wounded simply by gunfire and stabbings not too distant Tahrir Square, the main protest camp in the Iraqi metropolis, the Associated Press latest news agency reported, citing health insurance and security officials who mention on condition of anonymity.

Iraqi officials have raised Friday’s death toll to at least two dozens after a bloody night of confronts by unidentified gunmen where targeted anti-government demonstrators inside the  main protest camp  in Baghdad.

It was the most chaotic flare-up in the capital in support of weeks and came a few days after parliament accepted Nobilitet Abdul Mahdi’s resignation keeping up with two months of huge protests tense his departure and the renovate of the country’s political concept.

Gunmen in relation to pick-up trucks late with Friday attacked a large enhancing near the al-Sinak bridge when anti-government protesters had been camped out for weeks, witnesses spoke to the AFP news charge.

“According to our sources, this method violence began late irrespective of whether around Khilani Square absolutely just north of Tahrir Square, ” Al Jazeera’s Dorsa Jabbari said a prior weekend not too long ago, reporting from Baghdad.

The attackers forced the protesters straight from the building and live coup could be heard after the brawl.

State tvs said the building had been torched “by unidentified men”.

Jabbari said the violence may be escalation  “in terms of the répartition that’s being created within your demonstrations and the various categories that are trying to take control of the voice on the streets involving Baghdad. ”

The attacks fall one day after a string in suspicious stabbing incidents remained at least 13 wounded throughout the Baghdad’s Tahrir Square, ones epicentre of Iraq’s leaderless weeks-long protest movement.

More than 600 protesters have been killed and as well as nearly 20, 000 wounded since anti-government demonstrations erupted on October 1.

Humming hits Sadr home

One at a time, an armed drone focused on the home of Iraqi Shia leader  Muqtada al-Sadr  in the southern city of Najaf, hours after his supporters deployed in Baghdad in response to the attacks on demonstrators, according to his office.

“This is a clear attack that could kindle a war – maybe a civil war – in Iraq. Self-restraint is essential,” al-Sadr’s spokesman Salah al-Obeidi told AFP News Agency on Saturday.

A source from al-Sadr’s party said that “only the external wall was damaged” in the attack, adding that al-Sadr was currently in Iran.

Many of those who arrived in Baghdad after Friday’s attack were suspected to be members of Saraya al-Salam (Peace Brigades), a militia headed by al-Sadr.

The Shia leader had previously supported Abdul Mahdi’s government but has since backed the protest movement. A source from Saraya told AFP that al-Sadr sent his followers to the streets after Friday’s attack to “protect protesters”.

According to Iraqi researcher Zeidon al-Kinani, the attack on Sadr’s compound may have been an attempt to pull the Shia leader into the protest movement as a “spiritual leader”.

“The government and the pro-Iranian militias are very aware that this is one of the main things the protesters were against since the early stages of the revolution,” al-Kinani told Al Jazeera.

“The protesters refused to have any of the old faces, whether they are in the government or in the ethnic sectarian quota – which Muqtada al-Sadr was himself a part of,” he said.

Iraqi demonstrators gather during ongoing anti-government protests in Baghdad

Demonstrators on Friday take part in the continuing anti-government protests in capital Baghdad [Khalid al-Mousily/Reuters]

Mass protests

Street protests have roiled War since the begining of the October, with demonstrators with the resignation of the state, the dissolution of Parliament and an overhaul for the country’s political system, that can be in place since the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq.

The demonstrations display turned violent amid suggestions from rights groups which will Iraqi security members being used excessive force against protesters.

Within Friday, Iraq’s top Shia leader Ali al-Sistani voiced support for the protests, screaming them a “tool using pressure to affect reputable reforms” in the country.

“What matters most is that they [the protests] really should not be dragged into acts to violence, chaos and skade, ” according to a mosque sermon read on his benefit in the southern city of Karbala.

Al-Sistani exclaimed a new prime minister truly must be chosen without foreign disturbance.

His wisecracks followed reports that a individual Iranian commander had been in Baghdad this week to rally support for a new regime that would continue to serve Iran’s interests.

Onto Sunday, the parliament confirmed Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi’s resignation, bowing with an key demand of protesters.

Abdul Pemimpin and his government are now amount in a caretaker status for a new cabinet is formed.

Iraqi government bodies have repeatedly accused “outlaws” of taking advantage of peaceful protests to attack demonstrators furthermore security forces, and of vandalising public and private property.

Source Al Jazeera

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