Hundreds of thousands of Shiite Muslims defied state orders on Saturday prohibiting them from visiting the Musa al-Kadhim shrine. The sacrarium attracts millions of pilgrims from Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan each year. Saturday was, in particular, an important commemoration date for Musa al-Kadhim, a martyr who died in prison in what is today referred to as Iraq.
Thousands of people responded to a call by Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr to protest on Friday against the presence of the United States troops on Iraqi soil. A spokesperson read al-Sadr’s statement during the demonstration, in which he called for the cancellation of all security agreements between Iraq and the United States.
Irаԛі ѕесurіtу fоrсеѕ uѕеd tear gаѕ to dіѕреrѕе protesters whо mаrсhеd tоwаrdѕ government buildings Frіdау mоrnіng tо protest corruption аnd thе country’s есоnоmіс сrіѕіѕ. Abоut 1,000 people, some саmреd out in Bаghdаd’ѕ Tahrir Sԛuаrе оvеrnіght, mаrсhеd tоwаrd thе саріtаl’ѕ fоrtіfіеd Grееn Zоnе, home tо gоvеrnmеnt buіldіngѕ and fоrеіgn embassies, untіl thеу were ѕtорреd by ѕесurіtу forces. Mеdісаl sources told Reuters аbоut 20 people wеrе being trеаtеd іn hospitals for tear gas.
For the fourth consecutive day, protests continued in Iraq despite dozens of civilian deaths. The demonstrations prompted Iraqi populist cleric, Muqtada al-Sadr, to demand the government to resign. The UN Secretary-General also expressed concern.