“Dozens of protesters were injured by firearms and tear gas, as well as in clashes with police <...> At least 15 protesters were killed,” reports the Associated Press .
On the eve of the protesters broke into the "green zone" and attempted to storm the Republican Palace. For this reason, the meeting of the local government was interrupted. Employees in the government building were evacuated. To disperse al-Sadr's supporters, the police used tear gas. There was a shooting. The special forces of the Iraqi army were involved in the suppression of the unrest.
Security officials said mortars and rocket-propelled grenades were used in the clashes, culminating in an unresolved political stalemate between the opposing camps.
Earlier it was reported about eight dead during the riots. Later it became known about 90 wounded. In addition to Baghdad, protests erupted in the Shia-majority southern provinces, where protesters blocked roads and burned tires. Iraqi authorities have declared a curfew throughout the country.
On Monday, al-Sadr announced his intention to retire from politics. His followers have been holding protests near the government district for several weeks now. Supporters of the Shiite theologian oppose the nomination of Mohammed al-Sudani for the post of prime minister from the Coordination Structure bloc. In the last parliamentary elections, al-Sadr won the majority of seats in the Iraqi parliament, but he refused a coalition with his opponents, which prevented him from forming a government.