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Iraqi Parliament Ousts Controversial Sunni Speaker


11 June 2007

Iraq's parliament has voted to remove its Sunni speaker after a series of controversies involving the lawmaker.

Officials say 113 of the 168 members of parliament in attendance Monday in Baghdad voted to remove speaker Mahmoud al-Mashhadani.

Lawmakers gave his Sunni Arab parliamentary bloc one week to nominate a replacement. In the meantime, Mashhadani's deputy Khaled al-Attiyah will serve in his place.

Mashhadani was known for making controversial remarks, and was involved in an incident Sunday in which his bodyguards allegedly assaulted a member of parliament.

Meanwhile, Britain's likely next prime minister, Finance Minister Gordon Brown, held talks today in Baghdad with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

The British embassy says Brown was on a one-day trip to gather facts he will need to make informed decisions after he succeeds Tony Blair, which is widely expected.

On Sunday, the U.S. military in Iraq said three U.S. soldiers were killed and six wounded when a suicide bomber struck a military checkpoint south of Baghdad.

The military says the blast brought down part of a highway overpass, trapping the soldiers in the rubble.

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



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