The Iraqi police on Friday closed entrances to Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone amid intense clashes with Iraqis protesting the parliamentary election results.
A security source from the Baghdad police told our reporters that further military reinforcements were sent and deployed around the Green Zone to prevent any possible attack.
The Green Zone hosts most foreign diplomatic missions including the US Embassy.
Injuries have been reported among the protesters, but the exact number has not yet been identified, the source said.
The Iraqi police fired live rounds at the protesters to prevent them from entering the Green Zone, while the demonstrators threw stones them, the source said.
On Thursday, a committee for rallies opposing the election results threatened to escalate the situation if the results are not changed.
The committee, which called for a peaceful rally to protest the results, did not specify how they would push an escalation.
The committee was formed last week by groups that rejected the results of October polls, including the Al-Fatah Coalition and the Hashd al-Shaabi group.
The commission will announce the final results of the recount when it is completed, and send them to the Iraqi Federal Supreme Court for approval.
The Iraqi election commission said last week it started recounting ballot boxes in 2,000 voting stations based on 1,400 complaints presented to the commission by political parties.
Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr’s party won 73 seats in parliament, the highest, followed by the Taqaddum bloc of parliament speaker Mohamed Halbousi with 37 and the State of Law Coalition, led by former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki with 34 seats.
The Iranian-backed Al-Fatah Coalition, which won 17 seats compared to 48 seats in the 2018 elections, has already rejected the poll results.