Special forces loyal to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki were deployed in strategic areas of Baghdad on Sunday night after he delivered a tough speech indicating he would not cave in to pressure to drop a bid for a third term, police sources said.

Shiite militias supporting al-Maliki stepped up patrols in the capital, police said. An eyewitness said a tank was also stationed at the entrance to Baghdad's Green Zone, which houses government buildings.

In a speech on state television, al-Maliki accused Iraq's Kurdish President Fouad Masoum of violating the constitution by missing a deadline for to ask the biggest political bloc to nominate a prime minister and form a government.