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Iraqi Shi'ite Politicians Agree on Prime Minister Nominee


Shi'ite politicians in Iraq have agreed to nominate Jawad al-Maliki for prime minister, possibly clearing the way for a new government.

Officials in Baghdad Friday said six out of the seven leaders of the dominant Shi'ite political bloc, the United Iraqi Alliance have approved the choice. Al-Maliki's nomination breaks a four-month impasse on the powerful post of prime minister, currently held by Ibrahim al-Jaafari.

Sunni Arab and Kurdish politicians had opposed Mr. al-Jaafari's nomination, saying he had not done enough to stop the sectarian violence ravaging the country.

With the deal on al-Maliki, Iraq's major political parties are set to begin choosing a parliament speaker during the assembly's session Saturday.

Meanwhile, Iraqi Kurdish officials say Iranian forces opened fire on Kurdish rebel positions inside Iraqi territory Friday. There was no immediate word on casualties, nor any comment from Tehran.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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