Baghdad protest: Sadr addresses 1000s gathered in Tahrir Square By*Rudaw*1 hour ago
Baghdad protest: Sadr addresses 1000s gathered in Tahrir Square
By*Rudaw*1 hour ago
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Addressing thousands of his supporters gathered in Tahrir Square on Friday, Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr said that “Sunni and Shiite will not sell their homeland.”*
“Today I came to attend the protest, and to support you demands,” Sadr said to his supporters. “You must ask that Baghdad be free and the US must leave Iraq.”
Supporters of the Shiite cleric gathered in Baghdad’s Tahrir square once again on Friday morning.
According to Rudaw’s correspondent at Tahrir Square, protesters were chanting “Kurds, Sunnis and Shiites are one, and Iraq is for all.”
Rudaw’s Bahman Hassan added that protesters were threatening to storm Baghdad’s secured Green Zone again, saying “Today we are at Tahrir Square and tomorrow we will be inside the Green Zone.”
Hassan added that Iraqi security forces that had been on duty in Tahrir Square have left the square. Security is now being provided by a Shiite militia group.
“Some 7,000 gunmen belonging to Saraya al-Salam, the military wing of Sadr’s Mahdi army, are securing the protest,” Hassan said.
The Saraya al-Salam militia did not attend Thursday’s military parade in Baghdad.*
In April, protesting supporters of Sadr broke down the concrete barriers of the fortified Green Zone, which houses the Iraqi government buildings and foreign diplomatic missions, and stormed the parliament building. Demonstrators demanded an end to the endemic government corruption.*
Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi had asked people not to heed Sadr’s call to demonstrate on Friday but to stay united in the ongoing war against the Islamic State.
Protests against Abadi were reignited after a car bombing in the Karrada neighbourhood of Baghdad killed nearly 300.
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