Outraged Iraqi protestors stormed MBC Iraq offices in Baghdad, in response to a report broadcasted through the Saudi-owned TV channel referring to a top Iraqi militia leader, who was killed in a US airstrike earlier this year.
Translation: "Video shows first moments of protesters storming MBC Iraq building after the latter insulted the martyred leader Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis."
Remembering the 1981 Iraqi embassy bombing in Beirut, MBC Iraq referred to Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis as the one who orchestrated the attack, which killed 61 people including Iraq's ambassador to Lebanon and Balqis Al-Rawi, the Iraqi wife of Syrian well-known poet Nizar Qabbani, who was working at the cultural department of the embassy.
The anti-Baathist Shi'a Islamist group Al-Dawa was then declared responsible for the attack.
Fans of Al-Muhandis took to Twitter to voice out their anger against the MBC group using the hashtag #ام_بي_سي_قناة_الارهاب_السعودي (MBC is the channel of Saudi terrorism) before they called for an actual protest by MBC offices on Monday afternoon.
Translation: "A protest against MBC"
Even though calls for the protest asked attendees to maintain social distancing, at a time the Coronavirus continues to spread across the country, protesters soon began rioting in the square by the office building.
Protests accused the Saudi Royal Family of Al-Saud of systematically insulting Al-Muhandis and other Iranian-backed military leaders using Saudi media outlets.
Online commentators continue to demand that "the Iraqi government does everything possible to close offices of MBC Iraq and stop its broadcast."
نطالب من هيئة الاعلام و التصالات غلق قناة الارهاب قناة MBC السعودية التي تسيئ بكل صلافة الى القائد الشهيد المهندس وتصفه بالارهابي— زهراء رحمن (@mernoor) May 14, 2020
كما نطالب السياسيين ببيانات ادانة لهذا الخطاب التحريضي الذي تمارسه قناة الفتنة تجاه شهدائنا وقياداتنا.
Translation: "We urge the National Communications and Media Commission of Iraq to close offices of the terrorist Saudi MBC channel, which has shamelessly insulted the martyr leader Al-Muhandis accusing him of being a terrorist. We urge all politicians to write against these Saudi provocations against our martyrs and our leaders."
Al-Muhandis, who was the leader of Shia Popular Mobilization Forces, was killed during the first week of 2020 during a critical US airstrike near Baghdad's international airport, targeting him and high-ranking Iranian military leader Qasem Soleimani.
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