Protesters leave after storming Iraqi parliament

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Hundreds of Iraqi protesters began to make their way out the country's parliament building in Baghdad after they breached and occupied it on Wednesday.

The demonstrators were protesting the recent selection of Mohammed al-Sudani as the official nominee of the Coordination Framework bloc, a coalition led by Iran-backed Shia parties and their allies.

The protesters, who were mainly followers of influential Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, started to leave shortly after al-Sadr issued a statement on Twitter telling them their message had been received, and “to return safely to your homes.”

The demonstrators, all of them men, were earlier seen walking on tables of the parliament floor, leafing through folders, sitting in the chairs of lawmakers and waving Iraqi flags.

The incident raised the stakes in the political struggle for Iraq nearly ten months after federal elections.

No lawmakers were present.

Only security forces were inside the building and they appeared to allow the protesters in with relative ease.

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