(BAGHDAD) — Tensions were high in Iraq Saturday after anti-government protesters, chanting anti-government slogans and carrying Iraqi flags, climbed over blast walls surrounding Baghdad’s highly-fortified Green Zone for the first time ever.
A state of emergency was declared when the supporters of influential Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr broke through the area, home to most ministries and foreign embassies including the U.S. embassy.
In a television appearance, al-Sadr accused Iraqi politicians of blocking efforts for reform, many of which have been proposed by Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi who took office in 2014.
The protesters stormed Iraq’s parliament after a parliament session was postponed because it failed to reach a quorum on Saturday. Al-Abadi was expected to introduce several new ministers who were non-partisan technocrats to help tackle corruption.
Iraqi President Fuad Masum called on protesters to evacuate the building and said politicians needed to implement the new cabinet and fight corruption.
According to BBC, protesters settled outside parliament as dusk fell Saturday.
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Source: World News