By Simon Kent.
A new wave of protesters have entered Iraq’s parliament, forcing Iraqi security forces to escalate force with tear gas, rubber bullets and according to reports, live ammunition.
Four protesters are reported dead, with estimates putting injured at over 50. Pictures on social media showed a man who appeared to have a serious gunshot wound, but by Friday evening it was reported that the protesters had left the Green Zone, and a curfew was in place in Baghdad, with people unable to enter the center of town.
Moqtada al Sadr (pictured) the instigator of the protests, condemned the use of deadly force. But the radical cleric insisted the protests remain peaceful. Iraq now faces an explosive moment that could pit government loyalists in the Badr Organization and a host of allied groups against Moqtada al Sadr’s Sarraya al Salaam. This in itself could be enough to derail progress against ISIS.