Eight Killed as Sadr Supporters Storm Protest Camp in Iraq’s Najaf

70 others wounded as fighting breaks out over future of protest movement

Influential Iraqi cleric Moqtada al-Sadr has endorsed the interim PM-designate Mohammed Allawi, and called on his protesters to end their demonstrations. This was a large chunk of Iraq’s overall protest movement, but others remain, and that’s not sitting well with Sadr’s followers.

Sadr’s followers in the holy city of Najaf attacked a protest camp, trying to dismantle it. This led to heavy fighting, petrol bombs, and even live gunfire. 8 people were killed, and at least 70 were wounded.

Allawi issued a statement saying that the “painful developments” should ensure that the current government carried out its duty to protect protesters. Najaf’s governor announced a holiday on Thursday to try to restore calm.

Sadr had called for his supporters to allow protests to continue, though the anti-government protesters say that in Najaf, all the protest tents were burned, and Sadr’s forces retain control of the area.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.