Supporters of Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr stormed the Iraqi parliament building in Baghdad's fortified Green Zone on Saturday for the second time in a week as they were protesting the nomination of a new prime minister by Shiite parties close to Iran.
The Iraqi Health Ministry said 60 protesters were injured in clashes with security forces during the protests.
Prime Minister Moustafa al-Kazimi ordered the security forces to protect the demonstrators, calling on them to adhere to the peacefulness of their movement and to abide by the directives of the security forces.
"The continuation of the political escalation increases tension in the street and does not serve the public interests," al-Kazimi said in a statement.
He stressed that "the security forces must, by all legal means, protect official institutions."
Earlier on Saturday, demonstrators from the Sadrist movement headed to the Green Zone.
They managed to break into the party buildings of the National Wisdom Movement headed by Ammar al-Hakim, one of the Shiite political and religious leaders.
Due to political differences, a new government has not been formed since early parliamentary elections were held on Oct. 10, 2021.
On July 25, the "Coordination Framework" alliance chose the 52-year-old Mohammed Shia' al-Sudani as a candidate to head the next government, in a new step towards ending the crisis that has been going on for more than eight months.
Attitudes regarding al-Sudani's candidacy were divided between supporters and opponents, as the protest movement and the Shiite Sadrist movement demanded the nomination of a figure without any governmental history.