Sunni Iraqis rally against Maliki

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iol news pic Mideast Iraq Maliki protest

AP

Protesters chant slogans against Iraq's Shiite-led government as they wave national flags during a demonstration in Ramadi, 70 miles (115 kilometers) west of Baghdad, Iraq, Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013. Iraqi authorities have closed the country's only border crossing with Jordan over security concerns, cutting a key route through a part of the country that has seen anti-government protests. An official in the Anbar province, center of the demonstrations, says the region plans to file a lawsuit over the closure. (AP Photo/ Khalid Mohammed)

Baghdad - Tens of thousands of Iraqi Sunni Muslims took to the streets in Baghdad and other cities after prayers on Friday, in another show of discontent with Shi'ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.

Three weeks of mass protests reflect deep discontent among Sunnis who say Maliki's Shi'ite-led government has marginalised their minority community, increasing worries Iraq may slide back into the sectarian violence of its recent past.

Sunni unrest erupted as the war in neighbouring Syria, where mostly Sunni insurgents are battling President Bashar al-Assad, an ally of Shi'ite Iran, is stirring regional tensions and testing Iraq's own fragile sectarian and ethnic balance. - Reuters


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