Saturday, July 22, 2006

Iraq parliament speaker calls for US withdrawal

BAGHDAD (AFP) - Iraq's parliament speaker Mahmud Mashhadani bitterly criticized US forces in Iraq, accusing them of "butchery" and demanded that they pull out of the country.

Mashhadani was speaking at a UN-sponsored conference on transitional justice and reconciliation in Baghdad, and his strongly worded attack appeared to embarrass his international hosts, who grimaced on the podium.

"Just get your hands off Iraq and the Iraqi people and Muslim countries, and everything will be all right," the conservative Sunni Islamist said, in a speech opening the conference.

"What has been done in Iraq is a kind of butchery of the Iraqi people," he said in a long winded speech that criticized the tactics of the coalition forces as well as US support for Israeli strikes against Lebanon.

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