FACTBOX-Key political risks to watch in Iraq

News and Press Release
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01 Jan 2012 20:06

By Jim Loney

BAGHDAD, Jan 1 (Reuters) - Iraq's political stability took a sharp blow in December with the departure of the last U.S. troops as the Shi'ite-led government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki sought the arrest of a Sunni vice president, inflaming sectarian tensions.

The worst political crisis in a year threatens the OPEC oil producer's fragile coalition government as Iraq continues its battle against a weakened but tenacious Sunni insurgency without the presence of American troops for the first time since the 2003 invasion that ousted Sunni dictator Saddam Hussein.

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