Protests in Baghad by pro-Iran groups against election results. November 5, 2021

Baghdad Clashes Hurt 30 As Pro-Iran Groups Dispute Iraq Vote Results


Clashes in Baghdad between Iraqi security forces and pro-Iran groups disputing the results of the October elections injured more than two dozen people Friday.

It was the first significant violent clash between government forces and parties, most of which have armed wings and are aligned with Iran, since those groups lost dozens of parliament seats after the Oct. 10 vote.

Police fired tear gas and live ammunition into the air as scores of the protesters threw stones and tried to advance towards Baghdad's fortified Green Zone, which houses government buildings and foreign embassies, security sources said.

More than 21 protesters were hurt mostly from smoke inhalation and another nine policeman injured from being pelted by stones, the hospital sources said.

The parties that made the biggest gains in Iraq's October election include that of populist Shi'ite Muslim cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, who publicly opposes Iranian interference in Iraqi politics and has called for all remaining Western troops to withdraw from the country.

The Iran-backed groups disputing the election result are also Shi'ite but follow an Iranian model of theocratic governance which the nationalist Sadr and many ordinary Iraqi Shi'ites reject.

The election result was seen as a rejection by voters of foreign influence, especially that of Iran.

Report by Reuters

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