The protesters, who are followers of an influential Shia cleric Sayyed Muqtada Al-Sadr, are demonstrating against the candidacy of Mohammed Shia al-Sudani, a former minister and ex-provincial governor, to form a new government.
Iraqi security forces used teargas and sound bombs to try to repel the demonstrators. An expected parliament session did not take place and there were no lawmakers in the hall.
The media office of Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi had issued a statement calling on security officers to guarantee the safety of state institutions, and urging demonstrators to keep their protest peaceful.
Security forces hurled gas canisters and used sound bombs to disperse the thousands of Iraqi demonstrators, in the heavily fortified government zone of the capital.
Demonstrators used ropes to pull down cement barricades leading to the gate of Iraq’s Green Zone, which houses official buildings and foreign embassies.