Opposition disrupts Iraqi parliament's debate on pact

BAGHDAD (AP) -- A stormy Iraq parliamentary debate on a U.S.-Iraq security deal has been halted after several shouting matches and an aggressive move by an opposition lawmaker.

The pact would keep U.S. troops in Iraq for three more years. It has the support of Iraq's ruling coalition, but is opposed by forces loyal to anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.

Today's session was adjourned after a Sadrist lawmaker approached a lawmaker reading aloud the text of the agreement, and seemed about to grab it away. Guards stopped him, and a recess was eventually called.

The 275-seat legislature does not have much time to adopt the security pact, and the Sadrists appear to be trying to take advantage of that situation.

The session will resume tomorrow.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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