“I apologise to the Iraqi people, the only ones affected by the events. Shame on this revolution… Regardless of who was the initiator, this revolution, as long as it is marred by violence, is not a revolution,” Sadr had told reporters from his base in the central Iraqi city of Najaf. Moments later, his supporters were seen beginning to leave the Green Zone. And minutes after that, the army lifted a nation-wide curfew imposed since violence erupted on Monday.
Here’s what happened:
– Tensions have soared in Iraq amid a political crisis that has left the country without a new government, prime minister or president for months. They escalated sharply after Sadr’s supporters on Monday afternoon stormed the government palace inside the high-security Green Zone following their leader’s announcement that he was quitting politics.
– Shelling targeted the Green Zone that houses government buildings and diplomatic missions overnight and the the rattle of automatic gunfire and heavier explosions of rocket-propelled grenades had continued on Tuesday morning.
– The death toll has now risen to 30.