Adel Abdul-Mahdis move comes after call for change of leadership from top cleric
The Iraqi prime minister has announced his resignation after the countrys top Shia Muslim cleric called for lawmakers to reconsider their support for a government rocked by weeks of deadly anti-establishment unrest.
In response to this call, 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, a statement signed by Adel Abdul-Mahdi said.
The statement did not say when he would resign. Parliament is to convene an emergency session on Sunday to discuss the crisis.
Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani earlier urged parliament to considering withdrawing its support for Abdul-Mahdis government to stem spiralling violence.
Meanwhile, security forces shot dead at least three people in the southern city of Nassiriya as clashes continued.
Iraqi forces have killed nearly 400 mostly young, unarmed demonstrators since mass anti-government protests broke out on 1 October. More than a dozen members of the security forces have also died in clashes.
The burning of Irans consulate in the holy city of Najaf on Wednesday escalated violence and drew a brutal response from security forces, who shot dead more than 60 people nationwide on Thursday.