Toll rises to 15 protesters dead in south Iraq clashes: Medics

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The death toll in Iraq’s flashpoint southern city of Nasiriyah rose to 15 protesters on Friday, medics said, as security forces fired on rallies in a new spree of violence.

Dozens more were wounded in Nasiriyah, just hours after Prime Minister Adil Abdel Mahdi pledged to resign in the wake of protests demanding a government overhaul.

Nearly 420 protesters have died since the rallies erupted on October 1.

Abdul Mahdi’s decision came in response to a call for a change of leadership on Friday by Iraq’s top Shia Muslim cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the statement said.

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