Wed, Nov 10, 2004 - Page 7 News List

Sunni political party withdraws support from interim cabinet

AP , BAGHDAD, IRAQ

A major Sunni political party has quit the interim Iraqi government and revoked its single minister from the Cabinet in protest over the US assault on the insurgent stronghold of Fallujah, the party's leader said yesterday.

"We are protesting the attack on Fallujah and the injustice that is inflicted on the innocent people of the city," said Mohsen Abdel-Hamid, head of the Iraqi Islamic Party.

Abdel-Hamid told reporters the party leaders convened Monday and decided that their one minister in the Cabinet -- Minister of Industry, Hajim al-Hassani -- should quit.

"We cannot be part of this attack," he said.

Since the Iraqi Islamic Party wields significant influence over the Sunni comunity, its move to pull out of the government will likely be a blow to Interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi.

The Iraqi Islamic Party is the Iraqi branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, a moderate Sunni Islamic party well established in the Middle East.

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