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Iraq cleric Al-Sadr asks supporters to evacuate Parliament building, relocate to its surroundings

Supporters of Shiite cleric Muqtada Al-Sadr storm the Iraqi parliament building in Baghdad's fortified Green Zone on 31 July 2022 [Murtadha Al-Sudani/Anadolu Agency]
Supporters of Shiite cleric Muqtada Al-Sadr storm the Iraqi parliament building in Baghdad's fortified Green Zone on 31 July 2022 [Murtadha Al-Sudani/Anadolu Agency]

Iraqi Shia cleric, Muqtada Al-Sadr, on Tuesday called on his supporters to leave the Parliament building amid protests against the nomination of a new prime minister by groups close to Iran, Anadolu News Agency reported.

In a statement, Al-Sadr urged protesters to evacuate the building in Baghdad's fortified Green Zone within 72 hours. The influential leader, however, called on supporters to maintain their sit-in around the Parliament HQ.

Al-Sadr also called on his supporters to gather to perform the weekly Friday prayers on 5 August in the Green Zone, which houses Iraqi government offices and several foreign embassies.

Meanwhile, Iraqi Prime Minister, Mustafa Al-Kadhimi, called on pro-Sadr protesters to end their demonstrations and hold dialogue among the country's political groups.

Tension has escalated across Iraq since last week following the nomination of Shia Mohammed Al-Sudani, as a new prime minister by the Coordination Framework, a coalition of groups close to Iran. The move, however, triggered protests from supporters of Al-Sadr.

Iraq has been in a political deadlock for nine months following the country's general elections last October, which failed since then to agree on a new government between the rival parties.

READ: Thousands of Sadr supporters demonstrate in several Iraqi provinces

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IraqMiddle EastNews
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