By Ali Jawad
Iraqi security forces on Tuesday forcefully dispersed a two-day-old sit-in in Baghdad led by supporters of firebrand Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr to protest the capital’s deteriorating security situation, according to a local security source.
Protestors, many of whom were camped out in central Baghdad’s Al-Tahrir Square since Sunday, had called on the government to find a solution to the capital’s devastating security vacuum, which has featured deadly terrorist attacks on an almost daily basis.
Baghdad police officer Ahmed Khalaf told Anadolu Agency that baton-wielding riot police broke up the sit-in by force, dismantling protesters’ tents and reopening the nearby Sinak Bridge, which had been sealed off earlier by demonstrators.
In recent days and weeks, Baghdad has witnessed a series of deadly suicide attacks that have mainly targeted Baghdad’s Shia-majority eastern districts.
Last week, a suicide attack in Sadr City, a predominantly Shia suburb of the capital, left more than 30 people dead. A similar attack on Monday killed more than 11 people at a crowded vegetable market.
Since the beginning of the current year, the Iraqi army’s Baghdad Operations Command has been implementing a new security strategy, which reportedly relies on stepped-up intelligence to preempt attacks in the capital by the Daesh terrorist group.