Iraq parliament rejects interior, defense nominees

September 16, 2014 4:44 PM

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BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraqi lawmakers rejected Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's nominees Tuesday to lead the defense and interior ministries, leaving the crucial Cabinet posts unfilled as an emerging U.S.-led coalition intensifies its air campaign against Islamic State extremists who have seized a third of the country.

Control over the two powerful security portfolios has long been a source of tension among Iraq's feuding political factions, and the failure to agree on the candidates marked the latest in a series of delays in forming a unified government that can confront the Islamic State extremist group.

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