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Iraq’s Muqtada al-Sadr backtracks on call for huge protests

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Iraq’s firebrand Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr backtracked on Tuesday after earlier urging his supporters to join a massive rally as a standoff with his political rivals appeared to be getting worse. The populist cleric’s announcement came amid behind the scenes talks aimed at steering Iraq out of crisis, with the country’s two branches of Shia Islam jockeying for supremacy. More than 10 months on from elections, Iraq still has no government, new prime minister or new president, because of disagreement between factions over forming a coalition. Sadr wants parliament dissolved to pave the way for…

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