Iraqi security sources have deployed tear gas in Baghdad’s Green Zone against thousands of supporters of influential Iraqi Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.
Protests against corruption, which are also demanding changes in the Iraq’s current election laws, are taking place in the center of the Iraqi capital for the second consecutive day.
On Friday, people gathered in Tahrir Square holding up placards reading: “Peace! No to corrupt authorities.” Similar demonstration took place on Wednesday.
The area, which is also known as the International Zone of Baghdad, is home to the Iraqi parliament, government buildings, and many foreign embassies.
A local activist and journalist posted a photo of one of the alleged victims.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi called on the participants in the rally to “abide by the law,” Reuters reported.
Last year, thousands of the cleric’s loyalists staged two major protests just outside the heavily fortified Green Zone. In April of 2016, crowds entered the parliamentary building in the Green Zone, prompting the authorities to declare a state of emergency in the Iraqi capital.
Al-Sadr became a prominent figure after his so-called Mahdi Army fought US troops during the 2003 invasion. The Iraqi army was dissolved in 2008 and replaced by the Peace Brigades.