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Iraqi Shi'ite Lawmakers Protest British Troop Extension


A group of Iraqi lawmakers loyal to Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr has staged a protest against a proposal allowing British troops to remain in the country.

The Sadrist politicians walked out of a session of parliament Saturday, suspending consideration of the proposal.

The deal would allow up to 100 British troops to stay in Iraq beyond a previously approved withdrawal date. They would be responsible for helping the Iraqi navy protect oil installations off the southern coast.

Moqtada al-Sadr has been a vocal and influential critic of the foreign military presence in Iraq, led by the United States.

U.S. troops withdrew from Iraqi cities at the end of June, transferring security responsibilities to Iraqi forces. Since then, there have been a several deadly bombings across the country.

A car bomb Saturday in a Shi'ite district near Mosul killed four people and wounded at least 35 others.

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

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