Political violence killed six as tension between different Shia factions escalates

At least six people have been killed in Iraqi capital Baghdad as protest for electoral reforms turned violent. The followers of fiery Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr tried to enter the heavily protected  Green Zone in which most of the key government offices situated. The security forces opened fire at the protestors to prevent them from entering the government buildings. The protestors pelted stones at the security forces. The six people were killed as the result of the bullet injuries. Nearly 200 have been injured including the scores of security forces personals.

The tension is running very high as the different Shia factions are fighting for more influence and political power. Al-Sadr is the hard line Shia cleric considered anti- America and also have troubled relations with Iran. The other dominating Shia factions are close allies of Iran. Many Shia groups keep their close loyalty with Shia regime in Iran. Al-Sadr is demanding the electoral reforms to end the political hegemony of former prime minister Noori al- Maliki.

Muqtada accuses election commission for favouring Al-Maliki and giving him undue advantage over his rivals. He also accuses Maliki for indulging in corruption when he was in power. If the tension continue to escalates, then there is real danger that this rivalry between different Shia factions might take a violent turn. Muqtada vowed to continue the protests to press the demand of electoral reforms.

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