Iraq's Sadr begins sit-in inside Green Zone, tells supporters to stay outside

BAGHDAD, March 27 (Reuters) - Powerful Iraqi Shi’ite Muslim leader Moqtada al-Sadr entered Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone on Sunday to continue a sit-in which his supporters began at the district’s gates more than a week ago to pressure the government to enact reforms.

Sadr instructed hundreds of protesters gathered outside the area, which contains parliament, embassies and government offices, to stay outside and remain peaceful.

Sadr is urging Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to move ahead with a plan announced last month to replace current ministers with unaffiliated technocrats to tackle systemic political patronage that has abetted graft.

Reporting By Stephen Kalin and Kareem Raheem, editing by David Evans