World Iraq's prime minister agrees to resign, president says, after weeks of protests
Iraq protests: At least two dead as security forces use tear gas
At least two people have died as protests intensified in Iraq, with security forces using tear gas to repel demonstrators from approaching government buildings Friday, a member of the Independent High Commission for Human Rights of Iraq has told CNN. The official added that at least 95 other people were suffering from the effects of exposure to tear gas.Hundreds of protesters gathered early Friday in Tahrir Square in central Baghdad for anti-government protests.
Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi has agreed to resign after weeks ofthat led to hundreds of casualties, Iraq's president announced Thursday.
In a televised speech to the nation on Iraq's Al-Iraqiya TV, President Barham Salih said Abdul Mahdi had agreed to step down on the condition that a successor is agreed to replace him.
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"The prime minister has agreed to resign," Salih said, adding that Abdul Mahdi had asked "political blocs to reach an acceptable alternative" in order "to prevent a vacuum."
One of Iraq's leading Shiite clerics and most powerful politicians, Muqtada al-Sadr, had called on other parties Tuesday to back his push for a no-confidence vote in Abdul Mahdi.
The protests, which have gripped parts of Iraq for the past month, were sparked by longstanding complaints over unemployment, government corruption, and a lack of basic services -- such as electricity and clean water.
Many Iraqis blame the current political parties in power for their economic hardship and the scale of the protests, believed to be thein 2003, took the government by surprise.
Iraqi prime minister's main backers agree to oust him
Iraqi prime minister's main backers agree to oust himPopulist Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, who leads parliament's largest bloc, had asked Abdul Mahdi to call an early election. When the premier refused, he called on his main political rival Hadi al-Amiri to help oust him.
Officials have attempted to regain control with the use of lethal force, while also imposing curfews and internet blackouts. The government said it only shoots when attacked, but those who have taken part in the
More than 200 protestors have been killed, and thousands injured, since the protests began earlier this month.
Another wave of protests broke out in the capital Baghdad on Wednesday, made up of protesters from across the country's ethnic and sectarian divides, Reuters reported.
The demonstrations turned violent at nightfall, and protestors attempted to storm a bridge leading to the heavily fortified Green Zone, Reuters reported.
The Green Zone includes the US embassy along with other foreign embassies, the Iraqi parliament building and other government buildings.
That day, a rocket landed 100 meters from the US embassy, killing an Iraqi soldier and wounding another, a senior Iraqi military officer told CNN.
Exclusive: Iran intervenes to prevent ousting of Iraqi prime minister - sources
Exclusive: Iran intervenes to prevent ousting of Iraqi prime minister - sourcesPopulist Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr demanded this week that Abdul Mahdi call an early election to quell the biggest mass protests in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein in 2003. The demonstrations are fueled by anger at corruption and widespread economic hardship.
Iraqi security forces are investigating the incident and trying to determine the launching point of the rocket.
On Thursday, the United Nations appealed for a national dialogue to ease the widespread anger.
"Democracy has given Iraqis the right to have their voices heard and to hold their leaders to account," Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Iraq, said in a statement.
"Today Iraq stands at a crossroads. Progress through dialogue, or divisive inaction. Violence only breeds more violence. A public national dialogue can bring Iraqis together to draw a roadmap towards a more inclusive, stable and prosperous Iraq."
Iraqi PM calls for protests to allow a return to 'normal life' .
Iraqi PM calls for protests to allow a return to 'normal life'Tens of thousands of people have protested throughout the country for weeks and dozens have been killed in clashes with security forces. Demonstrators are demanding an overhaul of the political system and decrying corruption in a ruling class that has dominated since the U.S.-led overthrow of Saddam Hussein in 2003.
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