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Hundreds Of Protesters Storm Iraq's Green Zone, Take Over Parliament

Protesters in favor of government reforms have demonstrated in Iraq for months. On Saturday, they stormed the Green Zone and then Parliament.
Posted at 12:28 PM, Apr 30, 2016

Supporters of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr broke through barriers in Iraq's Green Zone Saturday and stormed Parliament.

Protests in favor of political reforms have happened for months, but they reached a boiling point Saturday when not enough lawmakers showed up to form a quorum.

The protests have been spurred by Sadr who wants Iraq's political quota system — a system which divides power between Kurds, Sunnis and Shiites — to be replaced with one that elects nonpartisan politicians.

And that's exactly what Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi was expected to introduce Saturday until not enough members of Parliament showed up to vote for the reforms.

In a recent speech, Sadr warned, "The government has two choices: Either reform or we will destroy it."

While Sadr is the main figure in Iraq in support of the prime minister's reforms to fight corruption, he stressed the protests would remain peaceful.

The Green Zone also houses other important government buildings, including the U.S. Embassy. An embassy official told The Washington Post they weren't being evacuated.

This video includes clips from BBCRudaw and Al Sharqiya and images from Getty Images.