The move is unlikely to bring down the government of Nuri al-Maliki, Iraq's prime minister, but it could create tensions in his fractious government of national unity.

   

'No need for timetable'

 

The Sadrists have said they would remain in parliament.

 

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Al-Maliki has said he sees no need to set a timetable for an American troop withdrawal because his government was working to build up Iraq's security forces as quickly as possible so the US-led forces could leave.

 
Last week, tens of thousands of Iraqis answered a call by al-Sadr to rally in Najaf to protest against the presence of about 140,000 US-led troops in Iraq.

The Sadrists ended a two-month boycott of parliament in January after pulling out in protest over the timetable issue and a meeting between al-Maliki and George Bush, the US president.

Source: Agencies