Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Iraqi PM: Shoe-thrower blames throat-slitter

BAGHDAD (AP) — Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki moved Monday to undermine the popularity of the Iraqi who threw his shoes at President George W. Bush, saying the journalist confessed that the mastermind of the attack was a militant known for slitting his victims' throats.

Tensions over the case also spilled into parliament, as a move to oust the abrasive Sunni speaker delayed a key decision on whether non-U.S. foreign troops will be allowed to stay in Iraq beyond New Year's Eve.

Al-Maliki said that in a letter of apology to him, Muntadhar al-Zeidi wrote that a known militant had induced him to throw the shoes.

"He revealed ... that a person provoked him to commit this act, and that person is known to us for slitting throats," al-Maliki said, according to the prime minister's Web site. The alleged instigator was not named and neither al-Maliki nor any of his officials would elaborate.

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