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Iraqi minister tenders her resignation over brother's alleged ties to IS

Education Minister Shaima al-Hayali says her brother was coerced into working for Islamic State administration during its takeover of Mosul
Abdel Mahdi has struggled to put together a cabinet amid a political deadlock that has persisted in the country since May elections (AFP)

Shaima al-Hayali, Iraq's newly appointed education minister, has tendered her resignation over online accusations her brother was a member of the Islamic State (IS) group.

Hayali announced her decision in a tweet on Saturday, two weeks after parliament approved her nomination, saying she had handed her resignation to Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi.

"I announce that I have submitted my resignation to the prime minister... and it is up to him to decide whether he will accept it once he has ascertained any link between me and terrorists," she said in the tweet.

Her statement came days after MPs and local officials from Mosul accused Hayali's brother, Layth al-Hayali, of being an IS member.

The online accusations were accompanied by two videos dating back to 2016, apparently showing Layth in IS propaganda videos, at a time when he worked for a local administration in IS-held Nineveh province, where Mosul is located.

In these videos, the man, whose whereabouts are currently unknown, can be heard denouncing US-led air strikes against IS.

"He was forced, under the threat of arms, to work in an administration controlled by IS," Shaima al-Hayali said.

But she added that her brother "never touched a weapon and never helped kill a fellow Iraqi citizen".

According to media reports and two activists, one of Layth al-Hayali's sons was killed while carrying out a suicide attack, and another while fighting against Iraqi forces.

There was no immediate reaction from the prime minister's office concerning Hayali's resignation.

Abdel Mahdi has struggled to put together a cabinet amid a political deadlock that has persisted in the country since elections were held in May.