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Sunni Lawmakers Walk Out Of Iraqi Parliament


Sunni Lawmakers Walk Out of Iraqi Parliament

Iraq's main Sunni parliamentary bloc has walked out of a session to protest what the legislators call the house arrest of their leader, Adnan al-Dulaimi.

Lawmakers from the bloc, the Iraqi Accordance Front, say they will return to parliament when Dulaimi is allowed to come back. They say security forces are preventing Dulaimi from leaving his home.

On Friday, Iraqi security forces arrested dozens of people, including Dulaimi's son, after two cars filled with explosives were found near the politician's office in Baghdad. Supporters say the elder Dulaimi told them he has since been confined to his home.

But an Iraqi government spokesman later denied that the Sunni leader was put under house arrest,

Dulaimi is a strong critic of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, a Shi'ite. His Iraqi Accordance Front has 44 lawmakers in the 275-member parliament.

In violence today, Iraqi police say at least 12 people were killed when suspected al-Qaida militants raided a Shi'ite village north of Baghdad.

Authorities say women and children were among those killed in the attack on the village of Dwelah, in the volatile province of Diyala. The militants burned down several homes in the raid, and wounded at least 10 other villagers.

The attack coincided with the release of a new Iraqi government report showing the number of civilians killed in November fell to the lowest toll since early 2006, when the bombing of a Shi'ite mosque in Samarra set off a wave of sectarian killings.

At least 537 Iraqi civilians were killed last month.

In other news, the U.S. military said one of its soldiers was killed Friday in an explosion in Baquba.

That brings the number of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq last month to at least 37. U.S. combat deaths have fallen dramatically each month since around 30,000 additional U.S. forces were deployed to Iraq earlier this year.

ENDS

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