On September 28, seven Iraqi security personnel were wounded when three rockets hit Baghdad highly-fortified Green Zone, where parliament and many government offices and foreign embassies are located.
The rocket attack took place while parliament voted to reject the resignation of its speaker Mohammed Halbousi. Parliament was convened amid a partial lockdown. Security forces blocked bridges leading to the center of the Green Zone. A curfew on buses, motorcycles and trucks was also imposed.
Another rocket fell near the Green Zone less than an hour after the first attack. Iraqi security sources said that there were no casualties.
Dozens of supporters of the influential Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr were gathered in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square, which is located next to the Green Zone, to protest against the parliamentary session.
Al-Sadr won the largest share of parliamentary seats from an election last October. However, he failed to form a majority government due to a disagreement with a coalition of rival Iran-backed Shiite groups called the Coordination Framework. This led to one of the worst political crises in Iraq in recent years.
Halbousi, a prominent Sunni politician, originally backed al-Sadr’s efforts to form a government away from Iran’s allies. Nevertheless, he did not follow suit when al-Sadr withdrew from parliament, and have instead considered entering a ruling alliance with the Coordination Framework. This provoked the supporters of al-Sadr.
It remains unclear who was behind the rocket on the Green Zone. The al-Sadr-affiliated Peace Brigades praised the protests near the region, while at the same time condemning the attack.
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