Fires broke out in several malls and shops in Najaf, Basra
and several southern provinces, and bloody shootings have caused the death and injury
of at least 25 citizens. In addition, many shops, commercial complexes and agencies
This came as supporters of leader of the Sadrist movement Muqtada al-Sadr, have shops and houses belonging to leaders in his movement who he decided to expel on Tuesday over corruption.
Mass demonstrations have rushed into the streets in the cities of Karbala, Babil, Wasit, Basra and Najaf near the homes of those expelled from the Sadrist movement.
In Najaf, violence during demonstration has caused the death of four supporters of Sadr and the injury of 19 others during storming a commercial mall belonging to Jawad al-Karawi, an expelled Sadrist leader.
The security media service announced the death and the injury of 25 people, saying that it was able to arrest five guards of the mall involved in shooting at the demonstrators.
The crisis started after Sadr announced the formation of a committee to gather information on Sadrist members working in government business projects. He addressed them, saying: "I can no more tolerate your defamation of the father and your abandonment of his approach."
On Tuesday night, he announced dismissing large number of his leaders and associates in the Sadrist movement, including his close jihadist aide, Abu Du'aa al-Issawi, and former MP Uday al-Awadi, over using the movement as a cover for corruption.
The political body of the Sadrist movement, on Thursday, condemned shooting at peaceful demonstrators in Najaf province, by the guards of some "corrupt" officials, according to the movement, leading to the death and injury of many citizens.
The statement of the movement described the incident as "unforgivable crime," calling on relevant state institutions, the prime minister and the President of the Supreme Judicial Council to take immediate legal actions against the perpetrators of this terrible crime.
"Shooting unarmed demonstrators is a heinous crime against human rights and his rights to express his opinion, and [his right to] demand his rights and the rights of his homeland, and is a flagrant violation of the Constitution and laws," the statement said.
Shiite Cleric Muqtada al-Sadr urged citizens to rush into the streets in anti-corruption protests in Najaf on Wednesday night. The protests have reportedly turned to be violent, resulting in the death of four people, and the injury of 17, according to Najaf’s Hakim Hospital.