Iraq's Sadr and Amiri set to lead talks on new gov­ern­ment

Daily Messenger - - International -

BAGH­DAD: Iraqi na­tion­al­ist cleric Mo­q­tada al- Sadr and Ira­ni­an­backed mili­tia chief Hadi al- Amiri were set on Wed­nes­day to lead talks to form a gov­ern­ment in Bagh­dad after an­nounc­ing an al­liance of their po­lit­i­cal blocs.

Sadr and Amiri’s group­ings won first and sec­ond place re­spec­tively in­May’s elec­tion, which has been be­set by al­le­ga­tions of fraud and raised fears of blood­shed among Shi’ite para­mil­i­tary groups.

They an­nounced the al­liance in the Shi’ite holy city of Na­jaf, an ap­par­ent at­tempt to pro­ject unity among lead­ers of the Mus­lim sect that has dom­i­nated since the fall of Sad­dam Hus­sein.

A week ago, an ex­plo­sion killed at least 18 peo­ple and wounded more than 90 in Sadr’s Bagh­dad strong­hold of Sadr City dis­trict, in what the in­te­rior min­istry called “a ter­ror­ist ag­gres­sion on civil­ians”.

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