Iraq security authorities have declared a state of emergency in Baghdad, said Brig. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they weren't authorized to speak to the press. Organizers of the demonstration urged protesters not to attack embassies. It is the first time that demonstrators, despite months of protests in the Iraqi capital, have breached the zone, the AP reports. Saturday's attack also comes amid a political crisis in Iraq as the country's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi is under increasing public pressure after repeated failed attempts at political reform to combat corruption and waste. "We are sending a message to parliament that today is the last chance" to accept "complete governmental change", said Hassanain Ali, one of the demonstrators. The goal in replacing the parties' "quota system" would be to reduce rampant bribery and embezzlement. Al-Abadi had been expected to introduce several new ministers as part of a promise to overhaul his Cabinet and fill it with technocrats instead of politicians beholden to a party or sect. Earlier in the day, not enough lawmakers had turned up in parliament to officially convene a session in which Abadi was due to present names for a cabinet reshuffle. To Iraqis who have lived through the reign of Saddam Hussein, the USA occupation and the current turmoil, the Green Zone has long symbolized tyranny, occupation and corruption. CNN said up to 24 could be dead. "I'm with the people, no matter what they decide". Iraqi forces are tightening security in the capital after anti-government protesters breached the Green Zone and stormed parliament. The unrest kicked off minutes after Sadr ended a news conference in the holy Shia city of Najaf during which he condemned the political deadlock but did not order supporters to enter the Green Zone. Most protesters had evacuated parliament and some were preparing for a sit-in in its courtyard, he added. "Hit him, hit him", one protester shouted. Videos showed protesters on Saturday attacking a white, armoured SUV with sticks and beating a man in a grey suit.This country as we know it is toast.
Saturday, April 30, 2016
Car bomb goes off in Baghdad...CNN reports 24 dead. Iraq on the verge on collapse.