Sunni bloc boycotts Iraq Parliament

Iraq’s main Sunni bloc pulled out of Parliament on Saturday in protest at a crackdown on their leader Adnan al-Dulaimi, throwing the country’s political process into new turmoil.

“We announce our boycott of the Parliament until Adnan al-Dulaimi returns to the assembly today [Saturday] or tomorrow,” Abdul Karim al-Samarraie of the National Concord Front said in Parliament.

After his statement, the bloc’s MPs walked out.

The Front had warned that political tensions could rise again following a crackdown on Dulaimi after the Iraqi army said car bombs were found near his Baghdad office on Thursday.

Dulaimi has been under effective house arrest since Friday.

The Front said on Saturday that the confinement of Dulaimi “will complicate the political process”.

“It will increase political tension at a time when Baghdad is relatively peaceful.”

The Iraqi army said two primed car bombs were found near Dulaimi’s offices in Baghdad’s Hail Adel neighbourhood.

Troops detonated the bombs and later detained Dulaimi’s son and dozens of his bodyguards, while Dulaimi said he himself had been put under “confinement” in his home.

On Saturday, Dulaimi told Agence France-Presse that United States soldiers were helpful when they allowed his daughter and her husband to meet him, despite opposition from Iraqi troops.

“My house is still surrounded by Iraqi and American forces, but the Iraqis are not allowing anyone to meet me,” he told AFP.—AFP

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