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Pro-Iran Coordination Framework begin rival Baghdad sit-in

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Supporters of Iraq’s pro-Iran Coordination Framework began their own Baghdad sit-in Friday in riposte to a sit-in outside parliament by the rival Sadrist movement launched two weeks ago.

In a statement read out to thousands of supporters gathered on one of the main access roads to the capital’s Green Zone government and diplomatic compound, the Framework said it would hold an “indefinite sit-in” to push for the swift formation of a new government to end months of deadlock between the rival blocs.

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An AFP correspondent saw protesters begin assembling large metal tent frames in readiness to camp out.

Loyalists of Muqtada al-Sadr, a Shia cleric who once led a group against US and Iraqi government forces, have been demanding fresh elections after the Coordination Framework named a candidate for the premiership, a post they believe should be theirs.

The Coordination Framework brings together the party of ex-prime minister Nuri al-Maliki, a longtime Sadr foe, and the Hashed al-Shaabi, a pro-Iran former paramilitary network now integrated into the security forces.

Read more: Rivals rally in Iraq amid political standoff

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