Rockets hit Baghdad Green Zone after deadly protest

The attack came after heavy clashes erupted in downtown Baghdad in the afternoon when thousands of people, mainly Sadr's followers, crossed al-Jamhouriyah Bridge to the western bank of the Tigris River.

"Two of them are from the security forces and the other five are protesters", a police colonel said.

Riot police fired tear gas when the crowd tried to move towards the zone, which also houses worldwide organisations and the homes of prominent politicians.

During the evening on February 11, Iraqi military officials said several Katyusha rockets were fired into the Green Zone from Baladiyat, a district of Baghdad with many Sadr supporters.

Shots rang out in the centre of the city as security forces used live fire and tear gas to disperse the crowds.

He encouraged the protesters to remain there until sunset but warned them against attempting to break into the zone.

The Iraqi government has called for a "full investigation" into the use of force against protesters, a statement from Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's office read.

Al-Abadi ordered a government investigation into the fatalities on both sides.

A police official confirmed to AFP that 11 people had been injured, but did not confirm a death.

In response to the protests, the head of the electoral commission refused to step down, calling the protests a "Shia-Shia dispute".

Their two main demands are for the members of the electoral commission to be replaced on the grounds that they are all affiliated to political parties and that the body supervising nationwide ballots was therefore anything but independent.

They also demanded real and comprehensive reform in the political process in order to fight the wide spread corruption in the country.

Sinan Al Azzawi, a popular Iraqi actor, was among those who addressed the protest before the violence broke out. This commission should be free from political interference.

  • Zachary Reyes