Iraq's parliament has approved a resolution allowing thousands of British and other non-US troops to stay past New Year's Eve.
The approval came just moments after the body accepted the resignation today of Sunni Speaker Mahmoud al-Mashhadani.
The resolution allows about 4,000 British troops and smaller contingents from Australia, El Salvador, Estonia and Romania to remain until the end of July 2009.
The approval vote could be heard from outside the closed door meeting.
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