Iraqi protesters climbed over thick walls to breach the boundaries of the heavily-guarded "Green Zone" in Baghdad Saturday, then stormed into the Iraqi parliament while carrying Iraqi flags and chanting slogans against the government.

The breach was an escalation of a political crisis that has included months of anti-government protests, sit-ins and demonstrations by supporters of influential Shiite cleric Muqtada Sadr, according to the Associated Press. The Green Zone houses most government ministries and foreign embassies. Sadr's criticism of the government has focused on zone.

"We are all with you [al-Sadr]," one group of men yelled as they entered parliament, the AP reported.

Earlier Saturday, Sadr accused Iraqi politicians of blocking efforts to curb corruption. Shortly after his remarks, his supporters began scaling the compound's walls. A group of young men then pulled down a section of concrete blast walls to cheers from the crowd of thousands gathered in the streets outside.

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