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Blair Faces Rebellion over Troop Redeployment in Iraq

British Prime Minister Tony Blair has faced a revolt from lawmakers who demanded a parliamentary vote on a US request to redeploy British troops in Iraq.

44 Labor lawmakers, joined by opposition party leaders, demanded a vote from the Commons over the redeployment on Wednesday's debate.

Blair was asked why it is necessary to redeploy 650 British troops when there are 130,000 US troops in Iraq.

He did not answer the vote demand directly, saying only that a decision on the redeployment has yet to be made and that he would consider the advice from the military.

Analysts fear that the British troop redeployment will be under the US command and used by US President George W. Bush in his race for the Nov.2 presidential elections.

The British government confirmed Monday that US military asked Britain to redeploy some British ground forces to relieve US forces for other anti-terrorism fight in Iraq.

Britain now has about 9,000 troops deployed in Iraq.

(CRI October 21, 2004)

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