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News Link • Iraq

Maliki Moves Against 'Coup,' US Backs Ouster


Accusing President Fuad Masum of plotting a "coup" against his continued rule, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has ordered large numbers of special forces and military loyal to him deployed across the capital city of Baghdad.

Troops and tanks were moving across Baghdad overnight, with significant numbers centered around the Green Zone, where government buildings are located. Troops were also reported outside of the presidential palace in Baghdad.

The dispute between Masum and Maliki appears to have begun with the adjournment of parliament earlier Sunday. President Masum was supposed to have appointed a PM-designee to try to form a new government, and with Maliki's State of Law Party having the plurality, Maliki believes that should be him.

But Masum didn't appoint anybody, as the Iraqi National Alliance did not present a consensus Shi'ite candidate. Maliki insisted that the failure to appoint him was tantamount to a coup against him.

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