Sadr supporters stymie vote on British pact | world | Hindustan Times
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Sadr supporters stymie vote on British pact

world Updated: Jul 11, 2009 18:54 IST

Lawmakers loyal to Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr held up a vote on Saturday to approve a deal allowing British troops to remain in Iraq longer than previously agreed to help the local navy protect oil platforms.

The deal would permit up to 100 British troops to remain beyond June 30, the withdrawal date set in a previously approved British-Iraqi security pact.

A source close to deputy speaker Khalid al-Attiya said that the session was suspended shortly after it began when lawmakers loyal to the cleric, who galvanized Shi'ite opposition to the US-led foreign presence in Iraq, walked out before a planned vote on the deal.

With no quorum, the session could not formally continue, but parliament is likely to take it up again at a later date.