Demonstrators were able to breach security and enter the Green Zone again on Friday, much as they did three weeks ago. Some of the protesters made it as far as the prime minister’s office before being turned back. To achieve submission, security forces used tear gas, water cannons, sound bombs, and live fire. Many demonstrators retreated to Tahrir Square, outside the Green Zone, but forces followed them there and continued shooting. A curfew is in place.
Shi’ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr had asked his followers to peacefully demonstrate against government corruption, and hundreds of them have been answering the call for several weeks. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said he supported the demonstrators but could not accept them storming government buildings. Sadr characterized the violence as the Iraqi government "killing its children in cold blood." He also warned that the protests will continue.
In other news, the Iraqi government has asked to extradite a number of opposition figures, including Saddam Hussein’s daughter, Raghad Saddam Hussein, from Jordan.
At least 21 people were killed and 124 were wounded in other violence:
A bomb in Husseiniya killed two people and wounded six others near some shops.
Mortars wounded a policeman in Bashir.
Three snipers were killed in Albu Bali.
Security forces killed eight militants and wounded 11 more in Rashad, Garma, Albu Audah, and Shahbandar orchard.
In Tal Ezba, three senior militants were killed.
Read more by Margaret Griffis
- Seven U.S. Airmen Among 131 Killed in Iraq – March 16th, 2018
- U.S. Military Helicopter Crash; 63 Killed in Iraq – March 15th, 2018
- Mass Grave Found Near Kirkuk; 29 Killed in Iraq – March 14th, 2018
- Militiaman Shoots P.M.’s Security Officer; 32 Killed in Iraq – March 13th, 2018
- Scattered ISIS Attacks near Kirkuk; 54 Killed in Iraq – March 12th, 2018