04/04/2005, 00.00
iraq
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A Sunni is the Speaker of the new Iraqi parliament

Baghdad (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Iraq's new parliament finally elected a Speaker yesterday, ending two months of fierce sectarian wrangling since the historic January 30 elections.

Sunni Hajem al-Hassani was elected Speaker along with two deputies - Shi'ite Hussain al-Shahristani and Kurd Aref Tayfur.

Mr Hassani received 215 votes, Mr Shahristani got 157 and Mr Tayfur received 96.

Mr Hassani served in the interim government as industry minister. Mr Shahristani, a nuclear scientist and Shi'ite moderate, spent a decade in the prisons of Saddam Hussein's Sunni-dominated regime over his refusal to work on Iraq's atomic weapons programmes. Mr Tayfur is a member of the politbureau of the Kurdistan Democratic Party.

Meanwhile dozens of rebel fighters attacked the infamous Abu Ghraib prison outside Baghdad late on Saturday, wounding 44 American soldiers and 12 detainees.
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