Iraq elects new speaker as army attempts to retake Tikrit

Published July 15th, 2014 - 12:33 GMT

Iraq’s parliament has elected Salim al-Juburi as speaker of the house in Iraq’s new government, AFP reports. After two failed attempts, al-Juburi won the seat with 165 votes.

The parliament also faces the difficult task of choosing a new president and prime minister. Current Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has been heavily criticized in recent months for his mishandling of the ISIL offensive.

Iraq is struggling to combat a serious threat from Sunni extremists who have taken over large swathes of the country. Security forces began an attack Tuesday morning to retake the city of Tikrit and succeeded in retaking some government facilities in the south, according to AFP. 

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