Thursday, 03 July 2014 - 8:06
Iraq Prime Minister offers amnesty to turn tide of offensive
Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki offered a general amnesty in a rare conciliatory move to undercut support for militants whose offensive has overrun swathes of territory and threatens to tear Iraq apart.
The offer comes after a farcical opening to the new parliament, despite world leaders calling on Iraq's fractious politicians to unite urgently to help combat insurgents, as the military struggles to seize the initiative.
Maliki's surprise move, made in his weekly televised address, appeared to be a bid to split the broad alliance of jihadists, loyalists of executed dictator Saddam Hussein and anti-government tribes that has captured large chunks of five provinces, displacing hundreds of thousands of people.