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Iraq parliament session ends in chaos as turmoil deepens

Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlaq (L) listen on as former Iraqi Speaker of Parliament Osama al-Nujaifi speaks during a press conference on July 1, 2014, in BaghdadIraq’s new parliament broke up in chaos Tuesday, with lawmakers walking out and making threats despite global calls for the formation of a government needed to face a Sunni militant onslaught. Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s bid for a third term has been battered by the jihadist-led offensive that has seized large chunks of five provinces, adding fuel to dissatisfaction over persistent allegations of sectarianism and monopolising power. The crisis has alarmed world leaders, displaced hundreds of thousands of people and polarised Iraq’s Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish populations. Kurdish lawmaker Najiba Najib initially interrupted efforts to select a new speaker, calling on the federal government to “end the blockade” and send withheld budget funds to Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region.

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