Amid deadly unrest in Iraq, influential Shia cleric and Sadrist movement head Muqtada al-Sadr announced on Monday that he was staging a hunger strike until the violence came to an end, according to the official INA news agency.

Al-Sadr "has announced a hunger strike, until the violence and the use of weapons stop," INA said, citing a tweet by the head of the resigned Sadrist bloc, Hassan al-Athari.

"The corrupt community does not give anyone, no matter what, a justification for the use of violence from all sides," al-Athari said.

Earlier on Monday, at least ten protesters were killed and 150 injured after supporters of al-Sadr stormed the Republican Palace, the seat of the Iraqi government in Baghdad, according to local media.

The situation deteriorated in Baghdad earlier in the day after al-Sadr said he was quitting politics for good.

The Republican Palace is in the heavily fortified Green Zone, which houses government agencies and several foreign diplomatic missions.

Armed clashes erupted between al-Sadr loyalists and supporters of the rival Coordination Framework, an Iran-linked umbrella of Shia powers, according to eyewitnesses.

Iraqi authorities declared a nationwide curfew in an attempt to quell the unrest.

Political parties in the country have been unable to form a new government since the last elections on Oct. 10, 2021.