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Deadly Clashes In Baghdad Between Police, Sadr Supporters

Supporters of Iraqi cleric Muqtada al-Sadr demonstrate in Baghdad on February 8.

The Iraqi Interior Ministry says a policeman was killed and seven other wounded during clashes in Baghdad with protesters loyal to the prominent Shi’ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.

But supporters of Sadr gave a higher casualty toll from the February 11 clashes, saying at least five people were killed and as many as 320 wounded.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has ordered an investigation into those claims.

Thousands of Sadr’s supporters gathered in Baghdad’s central Tahrir Square on February 11 to demand changes to an electoral supervisory commission ahead of a provincial election in September.

Correspondents say the clashes broke out when police tried to disperse protesters who tried to cross a bridge that links Tahrir Square with Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone, a part of the city that houses government buildings, embassies, and international organizations.

During the evening on February 11, Iraqi military officials said several Katyusha rockets were fired into the Green Zone from Baladiyat, a district of Baghdad with many Sadr supporters. There were no reports of casualties in those incidents.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AP