By Ali Jawad
BAGHDAD (AA) - The largest Sunni bloc in the Iraqi parliament on Friday suspended its activities amid ongoing mass protests in the country.
Al-Mihwar Al-Watani (National Axis) alliance, which comprises 17 lawmakers, said the move was to stand in solidarity with the people demanding an end to corruption.
The Sunni alliance called for a "serious investigation into how parliamentary committees are formed, nominate their chairpersons and pass a large number of laws without regard to transparency".
Earlier on Friday, the Shia parliamentary bloc Sairoon, backed by Muqtada al-Sadr, the influential Iraqi Shia cleric, also announced suspension of its parliamentary activities in support of the ongoing protests.
Protesters have been demanding improvement in living conditions and an end to corruption. Security forces have reportedly opened fire on protesters to disperse them, causing mass casualties with 42 people killed so far.
* Ahmed Asmar contributed to this report from Ankara