Neighbors react to deadly unrest in Iraq — RT World News

The Iranian government on Monday decided to close the country’s border with Iraq in response to violent clashes in Baghdad. Dozens of people have been injured and killed in clashes between supporters of Iraqi cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, rival militias and security forces, sparked by a political standoff.

Land crossings into Iraq will remain closed until further notice, Iranian Deputy Interior Minister Majid Mirahmadi told the Mehr news agency on Monday evening, adding that the decision was taken in unrest in Iraq and to ensure the safety of Iranian pilgrims. Tehran International Airport also announced that all flights to Baghdad have been canceled.

The Iranian Embassy in Baghdad has asked Iranian nationals currently in Iraq to avoid traveling to the country’s capital, as well as the cities of Kadhimiya and Samarra, and to observe the curfew decreed by the Iraqi authorities earlier Monday.

Meanwhile, Kuwait’s embassy in Iraq has urged its citizens to leave the country or postpone their travel plans, the official Kuna news agency reported on Monday.

Clashes between security forces and supporters of influential Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr erupted in Baghdad on Monday after al-Sadr announced he was quitting politics for good after months of failed attempts to form a government. facing opposition from rival factions.

Hundreds of protesters stormed Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone, which houses the presidential palace as well as US and foreign embassies. The caretaker government of Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi responded by deploying tanks and armored vehicles around the Green Zone and declaring a curfew beginning at 3:30 p.m. local time and then extending it nationwide.

At least 17 people were killed and many others injured, Reuters reported, citing police and medical sources, while AFP said some 270 people suffered various injuries. Al-Sadr then announced a hunger strike, calling for an end to political violence.

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