Tags: Iraq | ISIS/Islamic State | Iraq | ISIS

Iraq Declares State of Emergency as Protesters Storm Parliament

Iraq Declares State of Emergency as Protesters Storm Parliament
 (AP)

Saturday, 30 April 2016 06:41 PM

Iraq declared a state of emergency in Baghdad after supporters of Shiite Muslim cleric Moqtada al-Sadr stormed parliament, the Interior Ministry said, but Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said late Saturday the city's Green Zone was under control, Fox News reported.

Mobile-phone video footage broadcast on Iraqi news channel al-Sharqiya showed hundreds of al-Sadr’s supporters inside the legislature on Saturday. Al-Sadr earlier on Saturday accused lawmakers of sectarianism in their selection of ministers and ordered his bloc to withdraw from the parliament session where members were preparing to finish voting on a new cabinet.

The U.S. Embassy is monitoring the situation, it said in an e-mailed statement, adding that reports that embassy personnel are being evacuated are inaccurate. The highly fortified Green Zone houses most of the country’s ministries and foreign embassies.

“Under the Vienna Convention, all diplomatic missions are protected by the host country’s security forces,” it said. “We have full confidence that the Iraqi Security Forces will meet its obligations.”

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who has pledged to give minority Sunnis and Kurds a bigger role in the Shiite-dominated government, has faced resistance to an effort to replace politicians in key roles with technocrats. He’s also under fire for his handling of a financial crisis and charges of government corruption. Parliament canceled its session earlier this month after a failed vote on whether to retain its embattled speaker.

‘Grave Concern’

U.S. officials including President Barack Obama have expressed concern Iraq’s leaders remain mired in sectarian divisions that may undermine the fight against Islamic State.

Protesters reached the cabinet headquarters inside the Green Zone, storming the general secretariat of the cabinet building, al-Sumaria reported, citing security officials. Security has been boosted around the central bank, the Interior Ministry said in an e-mailed statement.

The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq said it’s “gravely concerned” by Saturday’s developments and urged political leaders to work together to restore security in the country.

“The mission condemns the use of violence, including against elected officials, and urges calm, restraint and respect for Iraq’s constitutional institutions at this crucial juncture,” it said in an e-mailed statement.


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Iraq declared a state of emergency in Baghdad after supporters of Shiite Muslim cleric Moqtada al-Sadr stormed parliament, the Interior Ministry said.Mobile-phone video footage broadcast on Iraqi news channel al-Sharqiya showed hundreds of al-Sadr's supporters inside the...
Iraq, ISIS
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2016-41-30
Saturday, 30 April 2016 06:41 PM
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