Iraq, clashes in Baghdad: dozens dead, hundreds injured

Call for dialogue from concerned Russia, Italy and Turkey. Iraq closes its borders with the country

The balance of the day of violence and clashes in Baghdad, the capital of Iraq where a curfew has been in force since yesterday. An Iraqi medical source quoted by al-Jazeera speaks of at least 30 dead and 700 injured, including 110 security officers, in the clashes in the Green Zone and surrounding areas of the city. Yesterday began with the announcement of the “definitive withdrawal” from politics by the influential Iraqi Shiite leader, Moqtada Al-Sadr, followed by clashes between supporters of the cleric and Iraqi security forces. Now, according to satellite TV sources, negotiations are underway between government officials, leaders of the Sadrists and their rivals from the Coordination Framework.

Meanwhile, an appeal for dialogue has been launched by the Russian Foreign Ministry. “We are following the development of events. Obviously, everyone must calm down and engage in constructive dialogue,” said a source quoted by the Sputnik news agency.

Italy “expresses great concern over the ongoing unrest in the Iraqi capital, which has also caused victims and injuries, and appeals for restraint to all interested parties so that a dangerous escalation is brought to an end without delay. The right to demonstrate. one’s dissent cannot freely translate into violence and clashes “, as stated in a note from the Farnesina, in which it is emphasized that” it is necessary that all representative institutions can function regularly in compliance with the Constitution and Iraqi law and in the interest of the whole population “.

“Italy hopes for the resumption of a constructive dialogue between all Iraqi political forces so that a phase of uncertainty will be brought to an end and the way to a widely supported and recognized government that offers the country security, stability and prosperity”, yes concludes the note.

Turkey is also “worried” about the ongoing clashes in Baghdad. “The events in Baghdad are a threat to the stability, unity and security of the country. The stability and security of Iraq, a friendly and fraternal country, are vital for Turkey. In this regard, we are concerned about the violence spread throughout the country “, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement. Ankara therefore urged the parties to common sense and restraint. “We hope that the current political conflicts will be resolved peacefully and through inclusive dialogue and that the peace and prosperity of the Iraqi people will be ensured,” the note read.

The Iranian authorities today decided to close their borders with Iraq and asked citizens not to go to the country after the outbreak of violence. This was announced by Iranian Deputy Interior Minister Majid Mirahmadi quoted by state television. Every year millions of Iranian citizens go to the holy city of Kerbala for the Arbaeen ritual, which this year takes place on 16 and 17 September.

” The border with Iraq has been closed. Due to security concerns, Iranians need to avoid traveling to Iraq until further notice, ” Mirahmadi said. Iranian television also explained that all air links with Iraq have been cut off ” due to ongoing instability ”. Furthermore “we are trying to put in place an emergency link to repatriate the Iranians from Iraq and Baghdad who are currently at the airport”, said the airport authority of Tehran.

Meanwhile, Kuwait is urging its compatriots in Iraq to leave the country. Yesterday evening, the Kuna agency reported, the Kuwait embassy in Baghdad also invited compatriots who intend to travel to Iraq to review their travel plans.

Emirates has therefore canceled all flights scheduled for today to and from Baghdad. On its website, the airline justifies the decision with “reports of riots and curfews” in Iraq and ensures that it “follows the situation”.