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Iraqi dissidents form new opposition
Political dissidents form new party to seek check on Iraq's government
By The Associated Press

BAGHDAD (AP) ' A group of Iraqi political dissidents says it has created a new opposition party to act as a check on the country's government.

About 45 activists on Saturday announced the creation of the Union of Patriotic Figures and described it as a secular political group of Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds.

Among them was Mishaan al-Saadi, who unsuccessfully ran for election to parliament in 2010 on the secular but Sunni-dominated Iraqiya list.



The new group is forming as Iraq grapples with a political crisis over an arrest warrant issued against the Sunni vice president by the Shiite-dominated government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

Al-Saadi said the party would seek to recruit other politicians and act as a "real opposition to the parliament."

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

BAGHDAD (AP) ' Iraqi officials say a car bomb south of Baghdad has seriously wounded a local police chief.

Police officials say Lt. Col. Salman Kadhim was badly hurt when the bomb that was hidden in a parked car in the town of Jbala detonated on Saturday. Jbala is about 60 miles (95 kilometers) south of Baghdad.

Two of Kadhim's guards were also wounded in the explosion. A local health official confirmed the injuries.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to talk to the media.

Iraqi security forces have long been targeted by insurgents seeking to highlight instability in the Shiite-dominated government and its efforts to protect people from violence without U.S. help.


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