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US News Iraq's prime minister to resign after day of deadly violence

01:15  30 november  2019
01:15  30 november  2019 Source:   news.sky.com

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Iraq ' s prime minister has announced that he is resigning in the wake of deadly anti-government protests. It comes a day after more than 40 protesters were killed by Iraqi security forces, and hours after the country's top Shia cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, called for a change in leadership.

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Iraq's prime minister has announced that he is resigning in the wake of deadly anti-government protests.

Adil Abdul-Mahdi wearing glasses: Adel Abdul-Mahdi will offer his resignation © Imagebridge Adel Abdul-Mahdi will offer his resignation

Adel Abdul-Mahdi's announcement was broadcast on Iraq's state television, just over a year after he took office.

It comes a day after more than 40 protesters were killed by Iraqi security forces, and hours after the country's top Shia cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, called for a change in leadership.

Ayatollah Al-Sistani also warned of civil war amid the violence in the country's southern provinces.

In a statement, Mr Abdul-Mahdi said: "In response to this call [from the Shia cleric], and in order to facilitate it as quickly as possible, I will present to parliament a demand [to accept] my resignation from the leadership of the current government."

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Baghdad, Iraq (CNN) Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi will resign after nearly two months of anti-government protests, according to a statement from his office. Abdul Mahdi had initially agreed to resign on October 31 on the condition that a successor was agreed to replace him. Days of violence .

The prime minister did suggest another path, saying, “If the goal of the elections is to change the government, there is a shorter way to do it.” He encouraged Mr. al-Sadr, who controls the largest bloc in Parliament, to work out an agreement with the man who controls the second-largest bloc, Hadi al-Amiri.

a steam engine is on fire: Violence in Iraq has been worsening over the last few weeks © Imagebridge Violence in Iraq has been worsening over the last few weeks

The announcement gave no indication of a specific time frame, but parliament is due to convene on Sunday.

Celebrations erupted in Baghdad's Tahrir Square after the announcement, where anti-government protesters have been camped out for almost two months.

On Friday, attacks in the southern city of Nasiriyah killed three protesters, while injuring eight more, leading to the United Nations saying it was deeply concerned and reiterating its call for Iraqi security forces to show "maximum restraint" on protesters.

Protests have mostly been peaceful © Imagebridge Protests have mostly been peaceful

Iraq has been in midst of anti-government protests for weeks, with an estimated 400 mostly peaceful activists being killed.

Protesters are angry with the level of corruption, the poor performance of the economy and the lack of public services in Iraq.

Many people in the country face frequent power outages, and end up using privately funded generators to keep the lights on.

Protesters are not just calling for government resignations, but widespread changes to the way the country is run.

Mr Abdul-Mahdi had previously offered the activists a reform and re-shuffle package - but this was rejected.

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