Top cleric calls for new government in Iraq

June 20, 2014 10:52 AM

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BAGHDAD (AP) - The spiritual leader of Iraq's Shiite majority has called for the creation of a new, "effective" government, increasing pressure on the country's premier as an offensive by Sunni militants rages on.

The call Friday by Gran Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani contained thinly veiled criticism that Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, in office since 2006, was to blame for the nation's crisis over the blitz by the al-Qaida-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

Also read: Iraq Parliament Votes for Legalising Government-sanctioned Shiite Militias

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