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Security forces fire on protesters in Baghdad's Green Zone

Friday, May 20, 2016 - 01:14

Protesters storm into Baghdad's Green Zone and are repelled by security forces firing tear gas and live bullets, according to a Reuters witness. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Protesters attempted to break into Baghdad's Green Zone again on Friday (May 20) and were repelled by security forces using tear gas, water cannon and shots in the air, witnesses said. It was the first time anti-corruption protesters had attempted to get into the heavily fortified area that houses parliament, government offices and embassies since followers of Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr stormed it on April 30. Sadr's supporters were among people from other groups at the protest on Friday. Witnesses said dozens of people were injured in the clashes as many people struggled for breath because of the tear gas. Following the protests, Iraq's military imposed a curfew on Baghdad "until further notice", state television said in a news flash. The Sadrists who occupied the Green Zone on April 30 - to protest parliament's failure to approve a cabinet reshuffle that aims to fight corruption - left peacefully a few days later. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has warned that the impasse could hamper Iraq's fight against Islamic State which continues to control territory in northern and western Iraq. The crisis broke out in February, when Abadi announced plans to appoint a cabinet of independent technocrats, reducing the system of political patronage that makes the public administration rife for corruption. Sadr, the heir of a revered clerical dynasty, says he backs Abadi's plan and has accused other political groups of blocking the reforms due to their own vested interests.

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Security forces fire on protesters in Baghdad's Green Zone

Friday, May 20, 2016 - 01:14