The death toll from the riots that have taken place since Monday in Baghdad after the announcement of the “definitive” resignation of the influential Shiite cleric Muqtada al Sadr increased this Tuesday to 22, while the number of injured exceeds 250, reported to Efe a security source.
“The death toll from the riots increased to 22 and more than 250 people were injured,” said a source from the Baghdad Operations Command, who requested anonymity.
The violent demonstrations in Baghdad and other parts of the country have continued throughout the night after yesterday Al Sadr announced his definitive withdrawal from politics, which caused thousands of his followers to take to the streets and storm the Presidential Palace and the the govern’s site.
The capital is the center of the unrest and the Green Zone, the fortified area of Baghdad that houses the main government buildings such as the Presidential Palace and the Government Palace, has become a battlefield.
The deaths are caused by “shooting and violent acts” in this area, the source said, without giving more details about the groups that are fighting.
After yesterday’s assault, the Iraqi authorities announced a curfew in Baghdad, which came into effect at 3:30 p.m. local time (12:30 GMT), and then extended it to the entire country from 7:00 p.m. (4:00 GMT), although the demonstrations have continued.
In recent months, Iraq has been the scene of a major political escalation due to paralysis, as both the judiciary and parliament suspended their activity, and the government is still in office.