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Iraqi PM says he will quit as deadly protests in the country escalate

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Iraqi PM says he will quit as deadly protests in the country escalate
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Iraq's prime minister says he will quit as deadly protests grip the country.

Adel Abdul-Mahdi will president his resignation to Iraq's parliament to allow MPs to choose a new government, a statement from his office said.

It came after weeks of anti-government demonstrations in the country, which has seen 400 protesters killed by security forces.

Abdul-Mahdi said on Twitter his decision had come after a call for a change of leadership on Friday by Iraq's top Shi'ite Muslim cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani.

"In response to this call and to facilitate and accelerate its implementation as soon as possible, I will submit to the Council of Representatives the official letter requesting the resignation of the current government to enable the council to reconsider its options," he said.

"The Council of Representatives, from which the current government emerged, is invited to reconsider its options in this regard and act in the interests of Iraq and preserve the blood of its people and avoid slipping into a cycle of violence, chaos and devastation."

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo talks with Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi in Baghdad
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