Hundreds of protesters have breached Iraq’s parliament for a second time this week.
Followers of influential Shia cleric, Muqtada al-Sadr, are demonstrating against efforts by Iran-backed political groups to form the next government.
Security forces deployed tear gas and sound bombs in a bid to prevent people from entering the parliament building in capital Baghdad.
But demonstrators used ropes to pull down cement barricades leading to the gate of the Green Zone – which is home to official buildings and foreign embassies.
Eye witnesses said several people have been injured in the clashes on Saturday.
The protests erupted as Iraq continues to face political deadlock, with ordinary people suffering most as a result of the stand-off.
Al-Sadr’s party won a general election in October but he failed to form a government which excluded his Shi’ite rivals – mainly backed by Iran.
The party left talks to form a government in June – handing the Coordination Framework alliance the majority necessary to move forward.
But al-Sadr insisted any new government should be free of foreign influence and corruption that has plagued Iraq for decades – and has vowed civil unrest if he does not approve of the new regime.
One person among the crowds, Raad Thabet, 41, said: “We came today to remove the corrupt political class and prevent them from holding a parliament session, and to prevent the framework from forming a government.
“We responded to al-Sadr’s call. We will go to the Green (Zone). No matter the cost.”
The stalemate is exacerbated by the fact al-Sadr’s loyalists are involved in running the country and hold powerful positions within Iraq’s ministries and state organisations.
Hundreds stormed the Iraqi parliament on Wednesday in protest against Mohammed al Sudani being nominated as the official nominee of the Coordination Framework bloc, led by Iran-backed Shiite parties and their allies.
Caretaker prime minister, Mustafa al Kadhimi has urged protestors to “immediately withdraw” as he urged people to show calm and restraint.