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Sunni members of Iraqi Parliament quit over deadly clashes

Dec. 30, 2013 at 9:56 PM

RAMADI, Iraq, Dec. 30 (UPI) -- Dozens of members of Iraq's Parliament announced their resignations Monday after anti-government Sunni protesters clashed with authorities in Anbar province.

The 44 Sunni lawmakers also demanded the Iraqi troops pull out of cities in the province and that Ahmad al-Alwani, a Sunni lawmaker arrested Saturday, be released, China's Xinhua News Agency reported the bloc's spokesman, Dhafer al-Ani, said at a televised news conference.

The resignations came hours after hundreds of demonstrators battled with police and army forces in Ramadi, Fallujah and elsewhere in the province. A medical source at Ramadi's hospital told Xinhua at least 10 people were killed and about 40 others were wounded, and a provincial police source said at least two tanks and several military vehicles were burned.

The violence broke out in cities across Anbar province after police dismantled an anti-government protest site in Ramadi, police said.

The state-run Iraqia television channel said "local police, in cooperation with provincial authorities in Anbar, removed the tents from the protest site near Ramadi."

Tension in the province, a Sunni stronghold, has been high since Iraqi security forces captured al-Alwani and killed his brother, Xinhua said.

It added Sunnis have been protesting the Shiite-led Iraqi government, accusing it of marginalizing and indiscriminately arresting, torturing and killing Sunnis.

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