Iraq’s newly elected parliament has postponed its next session until Aug. 12, the office of acting parliamentary speaker Mehdi al-Hafidh said on Monday, amid political deadlock in Baghdad over the formation of a new government.
Hafidh’s office told Reuters that parliament would soon issue a statement to clarify the reason for the delay. Salim al-Jabour, a Sunni lawmaker, told Reuters the meeting had been postponed because parliament “had failed to reach political consensus or agreement” over the nomination for three top posts.
Parliament met last Tuesday for the first time since its election in April and had planned to meet again this Tuesday. The first session ended without agreement on top government posts. Sunnis and Kurds walked out after Shiites failed to nominate a new candidate for prime minister.
Embattled Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said last week that he hoped to overcome the challenges blocking the formation of a new government, but he has also remained defiant amid criticism from many in the divided parliament who are calling for him to withdraw his bid for a third term.
BAGHDAD: IRAQI GENERAL KILLED IN BATTLE FOR CAPITAL REGION
A senior Iraqi general was killed in fighting with insurgents close to Baghdad on Monday, as the army fights to hold militant Sunni Islamists back from the capital.
Major General Negm Abdullah Ali, commander of the army’s sixth division, responsible for defending part of Baghdad, “met martyrdom on the battlefield as he was fighting ... terrorists”, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said in a statement.
Ali was killed “when mortar rounds fell” in the Ibrahim Bin Ali area, about 16 km northwest of Baghdad, the office of al-Maliki’s military spokesman said later.
Ibrahim Bin Ali has been fought over for months because of its proximity to Shia districts of Baghdad.
TAZ KHURMATO: CHILD KILLED IN AIRSTRIKE ON KURDISH-HELD TOWN
A 12-year-old girl has been killed and eight other civilians wounded in an Iraqi airstrike on a Kurdish-held town in Iraq’s northern province of Salahuddin, a Kurdish security forces official said.
Jabbar Yawar, secretary-general of the Kurdish peshmerga fighters, told Reuters the strike occurred on Sunday when military planes and helicopters targeted “a group of civilian residential buildings in the heart” of the town of Tuz Khurmato.
Iraqi government forces are battling Sunni Islamist insurgents led by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. The Shia-led government in Baghdad said it would “clarify” the details of the incident at a briefing on Monday.
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