RELIGION

Iraq: PM orders arrest of protesters who attacked lawmakers

  • Map shows the Green Zone in Baghdad and locates the Iraqi parliament and U.S. Embassy; 2c x 3 inches; 96.3 mm x 76 mm;

    Map shows the Green Zone in Baghdad and locates the Iraqi parliament and U.S. Embassy; 2c x 3 inches; 96.3 mm x 76 mm;  (The Associated Press)

  • Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr speaks during a media conference in Najaf, Iraq, 100 miles (160 kilometers) south of Baghdad, Saturday, April 30, 2016. Dozens of supporters of Muqtada al-Sadr protesting against the government, stormed into the heavily fortified Green Zone in Baghdad on Saturday to storm parliament in what is being seen as a major escalation of the political crisis. (AP Photo/Karim Kadim)

    Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr speaks during a media conference in Najaf, Iraq, 100 miles (160 kilometers) south of Baghdad, Saturday, April 30, 2016. Dozens of supporters of Muqtada al-Sadr protesting against the government, stormed into the heavily fortified Green Zone in Baghdad on Saturday to storm parliament in what is being seen as a major escalation of the political crisis. (AP Photo/Karim Kadim)  (The Associated Press)

  • Supporters of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr swim in a fountain during their sit-in inside Baghdad's highly fortified Green Zone Sunday, May 1, 2016. Anti-government protesters tore down walls and poured into the Iraqi capital's heavily fortified Green Zone yesterday, where they stormed parliament in a major escalation of a political crisis that has simmered for months. (AP Photo/Karim Kadim)

    Supporters of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr swim in a fountain during their sit-in inside Baghdad's highly fortified Green Zone Sunday, May 1, 2016. Anti-government protesters tore down walls and poured into the Iraqi capital's heavily fortified Green Zone yesterday, where they stormed parliament in a major escalation of a political crisis that has simmered for months. (AP Photo/Karim Kadim)  (The Associated Press)

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has ordered authorities to arrest and bring to justice protesters who attacked security forces, lawmakers and damaged properties of state institutions after breaking into Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone to protest delays in reform plans.

Al-Abadi's Sunday statement came a day after hundreds of angry anti-government followers of influential Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr tore down blast walls and poured into the parliament building, exacerbating a long-simmering political crisis. Late Saturday, al-Abadi toured inside the parliament building, walking past damaged furniture.

Videos on social media showed a group of young men slapping two Iraqi lawmakers as they attempted to flee the crowd, while other protesters mobbed lawmakers' motorcades.

The protesters eventually left the parliament Saturday night and rallied at a nearby square.