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Iraq PM vows to 'never give up' on third term bid

Iraqi forces and Shiite Muslim volunteers arrive in the predominantly-Sunni city of Samarra, on July 2, 2014Iraq’s premier insisted Friday he would “never give up” seeking a third term despite allegations at home and abroad of sectarianism and authoritarianism amid a sweeping jihadist-led offensive. At least 15 people were killed in a suicide attack on Iraqi forces south of Samarra, a mostly Sunni city that also houses one of the Shiite Islam’s holiest shrines and is a main front line in the weeks-old crisis. Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s remarks came after a farcical parliament session in which Iraq’s various factions — many of which strongly oppose him staying — failed to unite and choose a speaker, sparking international criticism and from the country’s top Shiite religious leader. With parliament next due to meet Tuesday and Maliki facing widespread criticism over the onslaught that has overrun swathes of five provinces, he insisted he would fight to retain his job.

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