Calm returns to Baghdad after deadly clashes

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Life on the streets of Baghdad appeared to return to normal on Wednesday after a comprehensive clash between rival groups at the Green Zone earlier in the week.

A nationwide curfew was enforced in the city in response to the violence which began on Monday.


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Some Baghdad residents, particularly shopkeepers, were concerned that the restriction would have a bad effect on the economy.

Shop owners in the capital’s Karada Market said they were relieved the army lifted the curfew, fearing a drawn-out conflict would have undermined their livelihoods.

“We were all worried, not just shop owners, all of Iraq was worried,” said Essa al-Saedi, who owns a shop in Karada Market.

Life returned to normal in Baghdad after a tense 24 hours when supporters of Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr clashed with Iraqi security forces inside the heavily fortified Green Zone.

Over 400 people, both the cleric’s loyalists and Iraqi security forces were also wounded after trading fire overnight.

With the death toll mounting, al-Sadr called on his supporters to withdraw, spurring a de-escalation in hostilities.

Still, the threat of more clashes in the future looms as the roots of the political rivalry between al-Sadr and his rivals in the Coordination Framework remains unsettled.

Tensions between the two camps are palpable and a way out of Iraq’s 10-month political vacuum does not appear within reach.

Shop owner, Abu Joud said he hoped that a government would “be formed as soon as possible so that the situation improves and the country stabilizes.”

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