28 July 2022
Hundreds of protesters have breached a high-security zone in Baghdad and broken into Iraq’s parliament building.
The supporters of cleric Muqtada al-Sadr oppose the nomination of a rival candidate for prime minister.
Mr Sadr’s political alliance won the most seats in last October’s general election, but it is not in power due to political deadlock following the vote.
Police reportedly fired tear gas and water cannon at the protesters. No lawmakers were present at the time.
The group penetrated Baghdad’s closely-guarded Green Zone – which is home to a number of the capital city’s most important buildings including embassies.
A security source told the AFP news agency that the security forces initially appeared to have halted the intruders, but they then “stormed the parliament”.
Iraq’s current prime minister, Mustafa al-Kadhimi, called on protesters to leave the building while the crowd sang, danced and lay on tables.
The unrest follows nine months of stalemate, during which disputes between the country’s different political factions have prevented the creation of a new government.