Iraq’s political unrest continued on Saturday as hundreds of protesters waving Iraqi flags breached the fortified Green Zone in Baghdad and stormed the parliament.
Iraqi military announced a state of emergency in Baghdad, though, according to reporting by BBC News, “there has been no serious violence so far.”
The protesters were described in various media reports s being followers of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.
MSNBC reports that protesters have been “demonstrating for weeks at the gates of the Green Zone,” with calls for the government to take on reforms and tackle corruption.
But Saturday marks “the first time the fortified zone housing government buildings and the U.S. Embassy has been penetrated since 2003,” CNN reports.
The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad tweeted Saturday that its staff had not been evacuated and that Iraqi government officials were not on its grounds.
According to Al Jazeera, the events mark “the climax of weeks of political turmoil in Iraq that has seen MPs hold a sit-in, clash in the parliament chamber and seek to dismiss the speaker, halting efforts by Haider al-Abadi, the prime minister, to replace party-affiliated ministers with technocrats.”
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