by Staff Writers
Baghdad (AFP) Dec 30, 2013
Forty-four Iraqi MPs announced their resignation on Monday after security forces demolished a Sunni anti-government protest site and detained a lawmaker.
The announcement was made at a televised news conference at which the MPs also demanded "the withdrawal of the army... and the release of MP Ahmed al-Alwani," a Sunni who was arrested during a deadly raid on Saturday.
Clashes broke out Monday in the Ramadi area, west of Baghdad, as security forces dismantled a protest camp where demonstrators had gathered for more than a year.
Ten militants died in the fighting, which also spread to the nearby city of Fallujah.
Protests broke out in Sunni Arab-majority areas of Iraq in December 2012 after the arrest of guards of then-finance minister Rafa al-Essawi, an influential Sunni Arab, on terrorism charges.
The demonstrations have tapped into longstanding grievances of Sunnis, who say they are marginalised by the government and unfairly targeted with heavy-handed tactics by security forces.
Iraq: The first technology war of the 21st century
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