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BAGHDAD (Reuters) - The main Sunni Arab political bloc quit the Iraqi
government on Wednesday in a blow to Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's
shaky coalition as suicide bombers killed more than 70 people in three
attacks across Baghdad. ADVERTISEMENT
The resignation move pushed the government into a new crisis
undermining its efforts to reconcile Iraqis and end sectarian strife.
Fifty of Wednesday's dead were killed when a suicide bomber in a fuel
truck packed with explosives targeted motorists at a petrol station.
The Sunni Accordance Front left Maliki's Shi'ite-led coalition over
his failure to meet a list of about a dozen demands, including a
greater say in security matters.
"The government was still ... closing the door on reforms which are
needed to save Iraq," Accordance Front spokesman Rafei Issawi told a
news conference, adding the government should have met its demands or
"at least admit its failure."
Issawi said Deputy Prime Minister Salam al-Zobaie and five ministers
would resign on Wednesday.
The Sunni Front's 44 members will remain in the 275-seat parliament.
Its withdrawal will have little practical effect on the 15-month-old
government, which is virtually paralyzed by infighting but needs only
a simple majority to keep functioning.
Maliki's government has already been weakened by the withdrawal of
fiery Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr's political bloc, one of the
biggest in parliament, over his refusal to set a timetable for the
withdrawal of U.S. troops.
The coalition is under pressure from the United States to end
sectarian strife between Shi'ites and Sunni Arabs, which has killed
tens of thousands. Washington is unhappy at the slow political
progress in reconciling the warring sects.
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|Milenko Kindl||[email protected]||Digital Photography||2||March 28th 07 09:47 PM|
|Milenko Kindl||[email protected]||Digital Photography||0||March 28th 07 01:20 PM|