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Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 August 2005, 13:23 GMT 14:23 UK
Baghdad mayor 'ousted by gunmen'
Protest calling for resignation of Baghdad mayor
The mayor faces angry protests over poor services in the city
Baghdad's mayor has been sacked by the Iraqi government, in circumstances that he has described as "dangerous" and "undemocratic".

A government spokesman said Alaa al-Tamimi was fired on Monday, although he refused to elaborate further.

However, Mr Tamimi himself said 120 gunmen stormed his office and installed the provincial governor in his place.

He said tensions had broken out between him and Shia members of the provincial council in recent weeks.

"Acts like these set a very dangerous precedent for a country that wants to be free and democratic," Mr Tamimi told the Reuters news agency.

He said he had tendered his resignation because he "knew there would be trouble", but it was rejected several times.

Spokesman Laith Kubba had said the governor of Baghdad province, which also includes a number of towns outside the capital, would administer the city for the time being.

His statement came before the mayor - who was not at his office when it was taken over - raised any complaints.

Mr Kubba said the provincial council had nominated a new mayor, but no decision had been taken by the central government.


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