At least 15 people have been killed in clashes between Iraqi security forces and supporters of a powerful Shia cleric in the capital, Baghdad.
Officials say dozens more were injured after protesters loyal to Moqtada al-Sadr stormed the presidential palace.
The violence began after Mr Sadr announced his retirement from politics.
His bloc won most seats seats in parliament last October, but he has refused to negotiate with Iran-backed Shia groups to form a government.
There has been a year of political instability as a result.
Street fighting erupted overnight, as fighters exchanged gunfire and tracer rounds illuminated the night sky in some of the worst violence to hit the Iraqi capital in recent years.
Much of the fighting has been concentrated around the city’s Green Zone, an area that houses government buildings and foreign embassies. Dutch embassy staff were forced to move to the German mission due to the clashes.
Security officials said some of the violence was between the…
This article was written by and originally published on www.bbc.co.uk