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Iraqi Lawmakers Back Bill on U.S. Withdrawal

There was also some disagreement over the terms of proposed timetable legislation. Kurdish lawmaker Mahmoud Othman told the Associated Press he had agreed to back the measure on the condition that it included an accompanying timeline for the buildup of Iraqi forces, but this was not included in the draft. Othman called the omission a "deception."

Hassan al-Shimmari, a Shiite who leads the Fadhila Party in parliament, also signed the petition and had similar concerns.

"We can all see that it's not possible for the American troops to leave, and that withdrawing right now would lead to a disaster in Iraq, because the Iraqi security forces are still very weak, and they are still controlled by their sectarian and factional loyalties," he said.

The violence driven by such sectarian rifts continued Thursday, as the insurgent group known as the Islamic State of Iraq, a coalition that includes al-Qaeda in Iraq, posted a video on the Internet that purports to show the killing of nine Iraqi police and army officers. The one-minute video shows the uniformed and blindfolded men kneeling in a row on a patch of dirt as a black-masked gunman shoots them rapidly in the head, one after another, saying "God is great" with each execution. The insurgents apparently demanded the release of prisoners before shooting the men, according to a video posted earlier.

The gruesome scene resembles a video posted April 19, also by the Islamic State of Iraq, showing the apparent execution of 20 Iraqi soldiers and police officers.

On Thursday, the U.S. military said one Marine had been killed Tuesday during fighting in Anbar province in western Iraq. Two other U.S. soldiers died Thursday from gunshot wounds, one in Baghdad and the other in Diwaniyah, south of the capital.

Special correspondents Saad al-Izzi and Waleed Saffar contributed to this report.


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