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Sadr urges technocrats as armed factions look beyond border

Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr continues to oppose "political" appointments, as his Saraya al-Salam guards Sunni areas relatively near the capital and other Popular Mobilization Units eye possible official cross-border operations.

SADR CITY, Baghdad — Some eight months after elections, which were won by Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr’s Sairoon Alliance, domestic social concerns continue to be sidelined as political wrangling between parties linked to armed factions to varying extents continues.

The key justice, defense and interior ministries remained unfilled as of mid-January. Sadr has long staunchly opposed national security adviser Faleh al-Fayad, who also heads Iraq's Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), for the post of interior minister.

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