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Sadrist MPs disrupt Iraqi parliamentary debate on security pact

An Iraqi parliamentary session on Wednesday to discuss the Iraq-US security pact was adjourned for a day after lawmakers loyal to Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr shouted down the second reading of the agreement's text.

The agreement, which allows the presence of U.S. troops in Iraq for three more years, was signed by both sides on Monday.

The Sadrists have vowed to sabotage the pact with legislative maneuvers and mass demonstrations.

Speaker Mahmoud al-Mashhadani adjourned the session until Thursday after Sadrist MP Ahmed al-Massoudi aggressively approached a lawmaker from the ruling coalition, who was reading aloud the text of the agreement.

The 275-member Iraqi parliament should approve the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) before November 24, failing which it cannot be signed into law by the Iraqi president.

Meanwhile, Sunni and Shiite tribes supporting Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki held demonstrations in several cities across the country in favor of the accord.

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