TIME

Sunnis Pull Out of Iraq Talks After Mosque Attack

(BAGHDAD) — Two Sunni parliamentary blocs have suspended talks on forming a new Iraqi government to protest an attack on a Sunni mosque that killed at least 64 worshippers during Friday prayers.

The blocs affiliated with Parliament Speaker Salim al-Jabouri and Deputy Prime Minister Saleh Al-Mutlak are demanding that outgoing Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and the main Shiite parliamentary bloc hand over the perpetrators within 48 hours and compensate the families of victims.

The move poses a major challenge to prime minister-designate Haider al-Abadi, a Shiite who is struggling to cobble together a new government that can confront Sunni militants who have seized much of northern and western Iraq.

It was not immediately clear who carried out Friday’s attack, which the lawmakers blamed on “militias” in an apparent reference to Shiite armed groups.

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