Clashes erupt after Iraqi Shiite cleric resigns, 15 dead

BAGHDAD (AP) — An influential Shiite cleric announced that he will resign from Iraqi politics, and hundreds of his angry followers responded by storming the government palace. The move sparked violent clashes with security forces in which at least 15 protesters were killed. Medical officials said dozens of protesters were wounded by gunfire more were injured by tear gas and physical altercations with riot police. The protests on Monday followed the announcement by Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. Iraq’s government has been deadlocked since al-Sadr’s party won the largest share of seats in October parliamentary elections but not enough to secure a majority government.