Iraqi prime minister to resign after 400 killed in protests

Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi to step down, after Grand Ayatollah calls for change in leadership as number of dead in protests tops 400.

Tags: Iraq
Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi
Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi

Iraq’s Prime Minister, Adel Abdul Mahdi, will stop down, the prime minister’s office announced Friday afternoon.

Abdul Mahdi made the decision to resign after a leading Shi’ite Muslim cleric demanded a change in leadership at Friday prayers, as the number of protesters killed in clashes with security forces continues to rise.

Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the top Shi’ite cleric in Iraq – a country roughly 65% Shi’ite Muslim – on Friday condemned the government’s use of force against protesters, and called on Iraqi lawmakers to drop their support for the government.

According to a report by Reuters, at least 408 people have been killed in the anti-government protests which began in October, with most of the dead being unarmed demonstrators.