The resignation of Muqtada al-Sadr from politics has triggered widespread protests in Iraq. At least 15 have been killed after supporters of al-Sadr stormed the government palace on Monday.

The supporters of Muqtada al-Sadr, an influential Shiite cleric,  entered the government palace after pulling down cement barriers. People were also seen entering lavish salons, swimming pools and meeting rooms often used by world leaders visiting Iraq.

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Since the violent outbreak, a nationwide curfew has been declared by Iraq’s military forces. Previously scheduled cabinet sessions of the Iraqi government have also been suspended. News agency Associated Press reported that dozens of protesters were wounded by gunfire and tear gas and physical altercations with riot police.

Violence was spread throughout central Baghdad, Iraq’s national capital. The crackle of machine gun fire echoed in the city as protests went on.

The violence has prompted other gulf nations to take domestic action. Iran closed its land borders to Iraq as flights to the country halted Tuesday. 

Iranian state television cited “unrests” and “curfew” in Iraqi cities for the reason for the border closures. It urged Iranians avoid any travel to Iraq while urging Iran’s Shiite pilgrims in Iraq to avoid further travel between cities. The decision came as millions of Iranians were preparing to visit Iraq for annual pilgrimage to Shiite sites.

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Kuwait meanwhile has urged its citizens in neighboring Iraq to leave the country. The state-run KUNA news agency also encouraged those hoping to travel to Iraq to delay their plans over the eruption of violent street clashes between rival Shiite groups in the country.

Emirates, which is UAE‘s long-haul airline, announced that it was stopping all its flights to Baghdad on Tuesday, citing the unrest. Emirates said in a press release that it was “monitoring the situation closely.” It is unclear when the flights would resume.