Iraq Daily Roundup: Four Killed; Sadr Withdraws Protest Support

At least four people were killed, and 58 were wounded:

After Shi’ite Moqtada al-Sadr withdrew his support of anti-government demonstrators late Friday, government forces began to take more aggressive actions against the protesters. The cleric’s support had given demonstrators a measure of protection from government forces and Shi’ite militias, but on Saturday Sadr issued a statement declaring his disappointment in being accused of co-opting protests by conducting his own anti-U.S. protests on Friday, and he called the protesters “foreign paid tools.” A spokesman accused anti-government protesters of insulting the cleric by blocking his followers from a protest in the south. Sadr says he will no longer interfere in the protests, either positively or negatively. Some of his followers apparently left their posts at the protests, but others remained. Sadr controls the largest political bloc in the current government.

In Baghdad, government forces were able to clear roads that had been occupied by demonstrators. Riot police were reported setting fires to tents in Khulani Square; however, protesters later retook control of the square. At least one protester was killed, and 44 more were wounded.

Three protesters were shot to death in Nasariya. Fourteen were wounded.

Riot police in Basra set fire to tents. At least 16 people were arrested.

Protesters were reported dismantling their tents in Amara, Diwaniya, Hilla, and Kut.

Author: Margaret Griffis

Margaret Griffis is a journalist from Miami Beach, Florida and has been covering Iraqi casualties for since 2006.