At Least 4 Killed, 17 Injured In Anti-Corruption Protest In South Iraq - Reports

At Least 4 Killed, 17 Injured in Anti-Corruption Protest in South Iraq - Reports

At least four people have been killed and 17 injured in anti-corruption protests organized by populist Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr in the Iraqi southern city of Najaf, local media reported, citing a hospital and local authorities

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 16th May, 2019) At least four people have been killed and 17 injured in anti-corruption protests organized by populist Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr in the Iraqi southern city of Najaf, local media reported, citing a hospital and local authorities.

According to the Kurdish Rudaw news outlet, the protests turned violent on Wednesday night after security guards of the mall where Sadr's supporters were rallying opened fire on them.

Sadr, who leads the Sairoon alliance, the biggest bloc in the Iraqi parliament, had called on his supporters to protest the corruption within the ranks of his own Sadrist Movement.

Although Sadr had not specified any Names, his supporters took the protest to Al-Bashir mall, which is reportedly owned by a former Sadrist named Jawad al-Garawi, who was allegedly expelled from the movement on charges on corruption.

According to the news outlet, the protesters set fire to the mall after the security guards shot at them.

On Thursday, the Iraqi Interior Ministry said that security forces had arrested five of the guards.

Iraq is one of the most corrupt countries in the world, according to Transparency International's corruption index. On Thursday, the Iraqi parliament announced its plans to establish a special committee to tackle the issue. Additionally, Sadr, an influential political figure, whose bloc won the 2018 Iraqi elections, has established his own three-member anti-corruption committee to investigate current and former Sadrist members in the government.

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