Iraq forces arrest Sunni MP, leaving 6 dead

The arrest sparked clashes that resulted in six dead and 18 injured

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The home of a Sunni MP was raided by security forces on Saturday, igniting clashes that killed his brother and five guards and arresting him, an Al Arabiya correspondent reported, citing police sources.

"Security forces attacked the residence of MP Ahmed al-Alwani in central Ramadi to arrest him this morning, sparking a battle with his guards with automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades," a police major told Agence France-Presse, referring to a city west of Baghdad.

Eighteen people were wounded, including 10 security force members.

It was not immediately clear why Alwani was arrested but it is known that the MP had previously backed anti-government protestors on a highway near Ramadi.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said earlier this month that the protest site near Ramadi had become a headquarters for Al-Qaeda, and called on protestors to leave.

Protests occurred in the Sunni majority areas of Iraq last year after Rafa al-Essawi, a prominent Sunni politician, was arrested on terrorism charges.

The demonstrations speak to the larger problem of Sunnis saying they feel marginalized in the Shiite majority government.

More than 6,700 people have been killed in the sectarian violence since the beginning of the year, according to AFP figures based on security and medical sources.

(With AFP)

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