Maintenance. We are currently updating the site. Please check back shortly
Members login
  • TrustLaw
  • Members Portal

Iraq police start removing Sunni protest camp, clashes erupt -officials

Source: Reuters - Mon, 30 Dec 2013 11:48 AM
Author: Reuters
Residents protest near the house of prominent Sunni Muslim lawmaker Ahmed al-Alwani in the centre of Ramadi in Anbar province. Iraqi security forces arrested Alwani in a raid on his home, sparking clashes. December 29, 2013. REUTERS/Ali al-Mashhadani
Tweet Recommend Google + LinkedIn Bookmark Email Print
Leave us a comment

RAMADI, Iraq, Dec 30 (Reuters) - Police moved to dismantle a Sunni protest camp in Iraq's western Anbar province on Monday after tribal leaders and local government and defence ministry officials reached a deal, officials said.

Thousands of Sunnis have taken to the streets in the region to protest what they see as marginalisation of their minority sect since December 2012.

Hardline Sunni militants linked to al Qaeda have meanwhile stepped up attacks on government targets and Shi'ite civilians. More than 8,000 people have been killed in violence this year, according to the United Nations.

Clashes broke out in Ramadi, the western city where the protest camp is located, when gunmen opened fire on police special forces called in from Baghdad as they tried to enter the city, police sources said.

The gunmen destroyed four police vehicles and killed at least three policemen in the northern part of Ramadi, one source said. Gunshots and blasts could be heard in parts of the city.

Defence Ministry spokesman Lieutenant-General Mohammed al-Askari told state television the camp would be removed by police and claimed that al Qaeda-linked leaders had been sheltering in the camp.

"An agreement was reached after marathon talks late Sunday for the protest tents to be removed by local police and without the involvement of the army," he said.

Some police sources and local officials in Ramadi said tents were still standing in the camp although police and army forces had surrounded the area.

In Falluja, gunmen attacked army patrols deployed along the main highway leading to Ramadi.

Many Sunnis resent Shi'ite domination of Iraq's politics since the U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein in 2003 and empowered majority Shi'ites through the ballot box.

The invasion was followed by an insurgency that brought Iraq to the brink of civil war.

(Reporting by Kamal Namaa; Writing by Ahmed Rasheed; Editing by Alexander Dziadosz and Angus MacSwan)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of the Thomson Reuters Foundation. For more information see our Acceptable Use Policy.

comments powered by Disqus
Related Spotlights
Topical content

Latest slideshow

See allSee all
Featured jobs