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Al-Sadr bloc threatens to leave Iraq government
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Iraqi Cabinet ministers allied to radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr threatened Wednesday to quit the government to protest the prime minister’s lack of support for a timetable for U.S. withdrawal.
Such a pullout by the very bloc that put Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in office could collapse his already perilously weak government. The threat comes two months into a U.S. effort to pacify Baghdad in order to give al-Maliki’s government room to function.
Meanwhile, bodies lay scattered across two central Baghdad neighborhoods after a raging battle left 20 suspected insurgents and four Iraqi soldiers dead, and 16 U.S. soldiers wounded, witnesses and officials said.