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Watch: Chaos Erupts In Green Zone As Protesters Breach Defenses

Protesters breached Baghdad's Green Zone once again, in defiance of the prime minister.

Supporters of Iraqi cleric Moqtada al-Sadr attempt to break into Baghdad's fortified "Green Zone" on May 20, 2016.
Several people were wounded in the process and many others were also hurt outside the walls of the Green Zone, where security forces fired tear gas directly into the crowd to keep the bulk of the protesters at bay.

Security forces also fired live rounds but it was not immediately clear how many people were wounded and what the nature of their injuries was. / AFP / AHMAD AL-RUBAYE        (Photo credit should read )
Supporters of Iraqi cleric Moqtada al-Sadr attempt to break into Baghdad's fortified "Green Zone" on May 20, 2016. Several people were wounded in the process and many others were also hurt outside the walls of the Green Zone, where security forces fired tear gas directly into the crowd to keep the bulk of the protesters at bay. Security forces also fired live rounds but it was not immediately clear how many people were wounded and what the nature of their injuries was. / AFP / AHMAD AL-RUBAYE (Photo credit should read )

In a show of discontent with the Iraqi government’s loose grip on security and slow pace of reforms, protesters once again stormed Baghdad’s Green Zone, this time to the sound of gunfire and ambulance sirens.

Once inside the fortified area, which houses government offices and international embassies, protesters rushed toward the parliament building and Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s office.

When protesters first marched into the Green Zone on April 30, security forces let them clamber over the blast walls without a fight. This time, under directions from the prime minister to not allow another breach, security forces fired water cannons, tear gas, and, according to witnesses, live ammunition. The Associated Press reported that one protester was shot in the head.

Scenes of Friday’s chaos captured by the Washington Post’s Baghdad bureau chief, Loveday Morris, showed ambulances racing through a throng of protesters:

Voice of America reporter Sharon Behn recorded sounds of gunfire:

Photo credit: AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP/Getty Images

Henry Johnson is a fellow at Foreign Policy. He graduated from Claremont McKenna College with a degree in history and previously wrote for LobeLog. Twitter: @HenryJohnsoon

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