Dozens of Muqtada al-Sadr supporters break into Baghdad TV channel HQ

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Dozens of supporters of Iraqi Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr broke into the building of the Baghdad-based al-Rabiaa TV channel on Tuesday night, over allegations the channel had insulted al-Sadr’s former militia.

Al-Sadr is a populist cleric who emerged as a symbol of resistance against the US occupation of Iraq after the 2003 invasion.

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He formed the Mahdi Army militia that he eventually disbanded and renamed it Saraya Salam — the Peace Brigades.

His supporters allege that al-Rabiaa insulted the Mahdi Army militia during a recent talk show.

Security forces and anti-riot police were deployed to the channel’s office after the mob broke in.

Videos shared by the channel showed its equipment and furniture destroyed, while al-Sadr followers were shouting pro-Mahdi Army slogans.

Al-Rabiaa is an Iraqi TV channel that was founded in 2021.

The name al-Rabiaa, or fourth in Arabic, refers to Fourth Estate of the press.

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