Iraq’s Shi’ite and Kurdish politicians will form a new government alliance and may do so without Sunni members.
President Jalal Talabani, a Kurd, and Shi’ite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said at a press conference that the decision was needed to break the political deadlock. They added that Sunnis, the minority in power under Saddam Hussein, would be welcome to join.
Most Sunni members have quit the cabinet, claiming their demands were being ignored.
Meanwhile, yesterday’s bomb attacks near Mosul are being blamed by the US on the Sunni terrorist group al Qaeda.
The Iraqi Interior Ministry now puts the death toll at at least 400 people.
The apparent targets were members of the Yazidi sect, a Kurdish group that pre-dates Islam. Yazidis are seen as infidels by some Sunni extremists.
Many Yazidis claim they are being persecuted because they are not Muslims. Some have even said that militants want to wipe out the Yazidi people, hundreds of thousands of whom live in Iraq.