Iraqi groups demand prime minister's resignation

By Haydar Karaalp

ERBIL, Iraq (AA) – Two major Iraqi groups demanded the resignation of Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi and his Cabinet on Saturday following the events in southern Basra.

Shia cleric Muqteda al-Sadr’s Sairoon coalition and pro-Iranian faction Hashd al-Shaabi's Fatah coalition urged the premier to resign.

In a news conference, Sairoon coalition's head Hasan Akuli said they will work hard to form a stronger coalition.

The Sairoon coalition came first in May 12 elections.

In another press briefing, Fatah coalition spokesman Ahmad al-Asadi said Abadi and his Cabinet must resign because of negative developments in Basra and the death of civilians.

Seven Iraqis have been killed during protests against poor public utilities in southern Basra province, according to the Health Ministry.

Ministry spokesman Seif al-Badr confirmed the death toll to the media on Saturday, adding that Friday's protests had left three dead and 50 others injured.