Shafaq News/ Dozens of Saraya al-Salam (The Peace Companies) fighters have been deployed in Iraq's southern governorates as the friction between the security forces and Muqtada al-Sadr's followers unfolded into clashes that resulted in casualties.
Shafaq News Agency correspondent said that fighters loyal to al-Sadr were seen in full gear in different areas of Basra, Maysan, and Dhi Qar.
"Armed men who belong to Saraya al-Salam toured those governorates in civilian vehicles in a show of power as tension simmers inside Baghdad's Green Zone," our correspondent said.
The powerful Iraqi Shiite cleric is said to have announced a hunger strike until the violence and use of weapons stops, Iraq's state news agency INA and state TV reported late on Monday.
There was no immediate confirmation from Sadr's office.
At least ten Iraqis were killed on Monday after al-Sadr said he would quit politics, prompting his loyalists to storm a palatial government complex in Baghdad and leading to clashes with rival Shi'ite groups.