raq’s top Shia Muslim cleric Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani on Friday called on politicians to hurry up in reforming electoral laws and said the changes would be the only way to resolve weeks of deadly unrest.
“We affirm the importance of speeding up the passing of the electoral law and the electoral commission law because this represents the country moving past the big crisis,” his representative said during a sermon in the holy city of Karbala, Reuters reported.
Sistani, who rarely weighs in on politics except in times of crisis, holds massive influence over public opinion in the country.
More protesters killed
Iraqi officials said on Friday that three protesters were killed and 25 wounded amid ongoing clashes with security forces near a strategic bridge in Baghdad.
Security and hospital sources said three people were killed Friday on Baghdad’s Rasheed Street in clashes with security forces.
Two protesters died because of tear gas, and one due to live rounds fired by security forces. The officials requested anonymity in line with regulations, AP reported.
The clashes came hours after some of the most violent clashes between protesters and security forces in recent days. At least 10 protesters were killed Thursday in clashes on the same street, which is very close to Ahrar Bridge.
Protesters occupy several Baghdad squares and parts of three bridges in a standoff with security forces. The bridges lead to the heavily fortified Green Zone, the seat of Iraq’s government.
The officials said over 100 people have been wounded. They spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.