Crowds Gather Near Iraq's Ministry of Foreign Affairs as Gunfire Heard in Baghdad

Gunfire rang out across Baghdad’s Green Zone as clashes in the Iraqi capital continued late into the night on Monday, August 29.

Supporters of Shia cleric and political leader Muqtada Al-Sadr stormed the Iraqi prime ministerial residence and the Republican Palace earlier in the day. Al-Sadr announced his retirement from politics on Monday after his party failed to secure a majority in parliament following elections in October 2021.

At least 20 people were killed in the violence that ensued, Al Jazeera reported, citing medical sources. Al Jazeera also reported negotiations were underway with members of the Sadrist Movement to secure a ceasefire, and that the US Embassy’s air defence systems had been activated.

State media reported that Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi ordered an urgent investigation into Monday’s events. Al Kadhimi said in a statement to the Iraqi News Agency that firing at protesters by any armed party was strictly prohibited, the agency reported.

Meanwhile, Muqtada al-Sadr announced he would go on a hunger strike until the violence ended, state media reported.

Footage by Murtaza Al-Kalidi shows people gathered near Iraq’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs as gunshots ring out. Credit: @MurtazaAlkalidi via Storyful