At least 30 dead in clashes in Iraq after Al Sadr’s withdrawal from political life

Iraqi PM hails Al Sadr’s words as ‘the epitome of patriotism’

The Joint Operations Command lifts the curfew in Baghdad and the Iraqi provinces after Al Sadr’s ultimatum


At least 30 people have died and 700 people have been injured in Iraq after the serious clashes that have broken out in the country after it became known that the Shiite cleric Muqtada al Sadr is retiring from political life, according to sources collected by Al Jazeera.

Al Sadr has given an ultimatum to the protesters to withdraw in less than an hour from the Green Zone in Baghdad, where the main government and diplomatic institutions are located, according to the NINA news agency.

“Regardless of who started the fight yesterday, I walk with my head down and apologize to the Iraqi people, who are the only ones affected by what is happening,” the Shiite cleric explained, adding that his retirement from politics is “definitive.” .

For his part, the country’s prime minister, Mustafa al-Kazemi, has praised Al Sadr’s words calling for an end to the violence as “the epitome of patriotism and respect for the sanctity of Iraqi blood.”

“His speech imposes on everyone the national and moral duty to protect Iraq and stop the political escalation and violence and immediately engage in dialogue,” Al Kazemi stressed on his Twitter profile.

Following Al Sadr’s words, the Shafaq news portal has reported that protesters have begun to leave the capital’s Green Zone, while the authorities have decided to lift the nationwide curfew that was decreed less than 24 hours.

In the context of the clashes, the Iranian Ministry of the Interior has announced the closure of the land borders with Iraq until further notice and has recommended its citizens not to visit the country, according to the IRNA news agency.

The Iranian Embassy in Baghdad has asked Iranians currently in Iraq to avoid traveling to the capital, as well as the cities of Kadhimiya and Samarra. In addition, Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport has already begun to cancel flights with Iraq.

Iran thus joins the embassies of different countries, such as Canada and Turkey, which have also begun to issue warnings to their citizens in the face of the escalation of violence in the country due to the protests that have broken out in Baghdad and have spread to other parts of the country, such as Basra and Samarra.

Members of the Saraya al Salam militia, which supports Al Sadr, have been involved in clashes in recent hours with Iranian-backed militias and have thrown grenades around the capital’s Green Zone.

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