Hundreds of supporters of the cleric Muqtada al Sadr, a strong man in Iraq, are leading clashes with the Police this Saturday during a new attempt to enter the Green Zone of the capital, Baghdad, in a new protest against the candidacy of the Shiite Mohamed Shia al Sudani as Iraqi Prime Minister; a decision that this week already unleashed the anger of the religious's sympathizers, who came to break into the Iraqi Parliament as an act of protest.
The Green Zone is one of the most protected sectors of Baghdad, which houses most of the international embassies and institutional headquarters of the Iraqi Government, including the Legislative itself.
"The protesters have passed the front-line concrete barriers that the Iraqi security forces have placed on the Al Jumhuriya bridge, in an attempt to reach the Green Zone," sources from the Shafaq agency have indicated, while sources from Sky News Arabia have begun to verify several injured by the tear gas launched by the security forces.
According to the same sources, the capital right now is almost paralyzed, in addition to the Al Jumhuriya bridge, the Al Sanak, Al Ahrar and Al Shohada bridges are closed, and traffic on the main roads and squares in a large part of the city "is totally or partially blocked".
Witnesses from the Al Arabiya network and the Rudaw agency have confirmed that a multitude of the cleric's followers are also heading to Tahrir Square, shouting against the Coordination Framework coalition, a group of Shiite parties close to Iran, largely defeated in last year's legislative elections, in which the Sayirún alliance won.
According to Sky News Arabia, the Iraqi government has already ordered the deployment of special police units to prevent a new incursion into the Green Zone.
Al Sudani, former Minister of Labor and Social Affairs, was presented as a candidate for Prime Minister as a supposedly elected by consensus in order, according to experts consulted by 'The Arab Weekly, not to infuriate the cleric, whose greatest rival, former Prime Minister Nuri al Maliki , is precisely the most prominent figure in the Coordination Framework.
The pro-Iranian group decided to take a step forward in the maneuvers to form a government, stalled for months, after last month the 73 deputies of Al Sadr's coalition presented their resignation en bloc as members of the Iraqi Parliament, fed up with the inability to make progress in the negotiations.
Fifteen days ago, Al Sadr struck a blow on the table after summoning hundreds of thousands of supporters for an evening prayer in the streets of Baghdad, where he claimed to be the leading political force in the country and demanded the resumption of talks.