Key Iraqi cleric demands consensus on prime minister

June 27, 2014 1:14 PM

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Iraq’s most influential cleric demanded Friday that squabbling lawmakers agree on a prime ministerial candidate before parliament convenes next week as a fierce battle continued at a strategically located university north of Baghdad.

The call by Shiite Muslim cleric Ayatollah Ali Sistani in his weekly sermon came as Iraqi security forces appeared to be regaining ground in their effort to turn back an Al Qaeda splinter group that has taken over much of the country in an offensive this month.

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