Baghdad is in a state of emergency after protestors led by Shi’ite clergyman Muqtada al-Sadr entered the parliament building in the International Zone Saturday, forcing lawmakers to flee.
On Sunday morning, the demonstrators gathered in front of the now-empty parliament building and in what is known as the zone’s “Celebration Square.” Later, they announced they would temporarily leave the area. In a statement, Sadr’s office said the decision was made because a major Shi’ite religious observance is taking place.
About 60 lawmakers — most of them from the minority Kurdish and Sunni parties — flew out of the capital to Irbil and Suleymania, in the northern, self-governing Kurdish part of the country.
“It was dangerous for all of us,” one parliament official told VOA. He said some lawmakers were beaten.
Full article: Iraqi Parliament Collapses, Lawmakers Flee Baghdad (Voice of America)