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Muqtada al-Sadr Tells Supporters to End Protests After Violence in Baghdad Kills 30

HeadlineAug 30, 2022

In Iraq, at least 30 people are dead and hundreds more injured, after fighting intensified in the capital Baghdad between supporters and opponents of the powerful Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. The violence came after al-Sadr’s announcement Monday that he’s quitting politics. Gunshots and rocket fire erupted overnight as Iraqi security forces, Iran-backed militias and supporters of al-Sadr clashed in Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone — an area that houses Iraq’s parliament and foreign embassies.

Kadhem: “Before, we were committed to the orders of Muqtada al-Sadr. Now he took his hand away from us. He withdrew from politics. He is letting the people take the lead in their own revolution. … We are not going back. We will die here. We are ready to die. We have nothing to lose.”

The formation of a new Iraqi government has been paralyzed since parliamentary elections in October, where al-Sadr’s Sadrist Movement won the most seats but failed to win an outright majority. Al-Sadr’s supporters had occupied the Iraqi parliament since late July in an effort to block lawmakers from choosing a new prime minister.

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