Iraqi prime minister says he will submit resignation to head off further bloodshed

Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi decided to resign in response to a call Friday by Iraq’s powerful Shiite Muslim religious leader, Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, for a change of leadership, according to a statement issued by the prime minister’s office.

The statement said Abdul Mahdi’s resignation aims to “preserve the blood” of Iraqis, hundreds of whom have been killed in protests since early October.