The violence has left at least 30 people dead, as fighting between supporters of Muqtada al-Sadr and his opponents continues.
Baghdad residents woke up Tuesday to intermittent gunshots and explosions from the fortified Green Zone, which houses government buildings and foreign embassies.
The Iraqi military said militia fighters fired multiple rockets into the Green Zone.
The streets were deserted after the army declared a curfew on Monday night after the violence began.
“We heard gunfire overnight, medium and light weapons were used, we also heard a few explosions inside the Green Zone, C- RAM belonging to the US embassy in the Green Zone soon heard this. in the morning,” Mahmoud Abdelwahed of Al Jazeera, reported from Baghdad.
“The situation is very tense and it seems that all efforts to de-escalate are futile. There have been calls for the Grand Marji’a [the Shia religious leadership] in the city of Najaf to intervene to end this conflict”.
Al-Sadr’s supporters gathered at the Republican Palace, where the Iraqi government is based, and where supporters of the rival Coordination Framework Coalition gather, after al-Sadr declared his father had “retired from politics” earlier on Monday.
Al-Sadr has announced his retirement from politics several times, only to return later.
As night fell, fierce fighting broke out, the worst the Iraqi capital had seen in years.
By morning, Iraqi security forces said they had forced al-Sadr’s supporters out of the Republican Palace, while a source told Al Jazeera Arabic that negotiations were ongoing between government officials and leaders from terrorists and Coalition Framework Coalition.
Al-Sadr himself has begun a hunger strike “until the violence and use of weapons end”, according to the head of the parliamentary bloc Sadrist Hassan al-Athary.
Violence is the climax of a political crisis began after October parliamentary elections, in which al-Sadr’s supporters emerged as the largest party but were unable to form a government.
Al-Sadr withdrew his bloc from parliament in June, before his supporters stormed the parliament building in late July in an attempt to stop lawmakers from choosing a new prime minister.
Religious leader has called for parliament to be dissolved – Iraq’s Supreme Federal Court was scheduled to pass a ruling on that call, but the meeting is now likely to be adjourned as all authorities Government offices are closed.
“This was to be expected, there have been warnings over the past few months,” said Abdelwahed. “Things are escalating and we’ve seen rallies and protests, sit in and protest.”
Violence has also spread to other parts of southern and central Iraq, with reports of fighting in several cities and al-Sadr supporters raiding the offices of their political opponents. .