BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Sadr leader Moqtada al-Sadr called on Friday for the resignation of the Iraqi government headed by Adel Abdul-Mahdi and the holding of early elections under the supervision of the United Nations, amid the escalation of demonstrations and the demand of 44 people have been killed since Tuesday.

Sadr said in a statement «inject Iraqi blood Sharif the resignation of the government» and the holding of «early elections under the supervision of the United Nations, what is happening ... can not be tolerated».

There were violent clashes on Friday between demonstrators and riot police in Baghdad.

For the first time, security forces accused "unidentified snipers" of shooting at demonstrators and security personnel in Baghdad, and rejected accusations of excessive use of force by human rights organizations.

The security cell reported that "two members of the security forces and two citizens" were killed in central Baghdad "by unidentified sniper fire."

Since Tuesday, the authorities have accused Mandseen of infiltrating the demonstrations and causing deaths. Medical sources say the majority of the dead were protesters who were shot live but did not specify the source of the shots.

In the meantime, the President of the House of Representatives Mohammed Halbousi in a statement supporting the demonstrators, saying «Your voice arrived and your message arrived».

"If I don't see the state heading towards meeting the people's ambition and giving hope to them, I will remove my jacket and find me the first person among the demonstrators," he said.

He called on the protesters to come to the House of Representatives.

The protest began with calls on social media to demonstrate against corruption and unemployment, the collapse of public services and chronic shortages of electricity and drinking water.