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Iraqi protesters storm parliament (VIDEOS)

For the loud demonstration that took place in spite of stalled attempts to form a government, no lawmakers were there

A large crowd of protesters forced its way into Iraq’s parliament building, demonstrating against government corruption and a prime minister candidate nominated some 10 months after the country’s last federal election.

As they marched through parliament Wednesday afternoon, the protestors were captured on camera. Many of them were carrying Iraqi flags as well as portraits of Muqtada, a prominent Shia cleric, although he has since left politics. According to Al Jazeera, regional media and others, the group consisted mainly of young men. They were in their hundreds.

Reporting from the Iraqi capital, Al Jazeera’s Mahmoud Abdelwahed noted that demonstrators had come from “many cities,” and traveled to Baghdad to protest “corrupt politicians.”A major feature of the event was the shouting and shouting against Mohammed Shia al Sudani (recently nominated as prime minister), Former governor and minister Al-Sudani was recently appointed as head of the Coordination Framework. It is a coalition made up more closely aligned parties with Iran.

Al-Sadr’s faction, which took a large share of Iraq’s 329-seat parliament following the last federal election in October, has long opposed foreign influence in the country, including from both Iran and the United States.

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No MPs were in the building when protesters stormed into Baghdad’s heavily fortified green zone, and while local media suggested demonstrators were met by riot police and water cannons earlier in the day, they reportedly faced little resistance as they pressed closer to parliament.

Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi – who has remained in power amid lagging attempts to form a new coalition since the last election – demanded that the protesters “immediately withdraw”Warning that the security forces will defend this area “state institutions foreign missions” and “prevent any harm to security and order.”

Al-Sadr took to Twitter hours after the protest started to encourage his followers to follow him. “return safely to your homes,”The government had received their message, they said. Soon after the announcement, the government began to remove protestors from the Green Zone. Some were escorted away by security personnel, others sang and chanted in the streets.



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