Iraqi PM withdraws troops from Anbar province
The army will leave cities in Anbar after security forces closed a major Sunni anti-government protest camp in the area
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki on Tuesday said the army will leave cities in Anbar province, in a bid to defuse tensions after security forces closed a major Sunni anti-government protest camp in the area.
Maliki called on “the armed forces to devote themselves to... pursuing al-Qaeda hideouts in the desert of Anbar [province]” and for the army to turn over “the administration of the cities to the hand of the local and federal police,” according to a statement on his website.
The announcement was made after clashes between security forces and gunmen killed four more people in the Anbar province town of Ramadi, police and a doctor told Agence France-Presse.
Three gunmen and an Iraqi army sniper were killed, while three other militants were wounded, the sources said, bringing the death toll from clashes set off by the closure of the camp to 14.
As the camp was demolished, heavy clashes broke out in the Ramadi area, with 10 gunmen killed as some mosques exhorted followers to “go to jihad,” or holy war, AFP reported.
Sunni Arab demonstrators had gathered in the camp for more than a year.
Late on Monday, 44 MPs announced that they had submitted their resignations, calling for “the withdrawal of the army... and the release of MP Ahmed al-Alwani,” who was arrested in Ramadi on Saturday.
The raid on Alwani’s house sparked clashes that killed his brother, five guards, and a security forces member, AFP reported.
Violence in Iraq has reached a level not seen since 2008, when the country was just emerging from a period of brutal sectarian killings.
More than 6,800 people have been killed in Iraq violence since the beginning of the year, according to AFP figures based on security and medical sources.
Gunmen kill four anti-Qaeda fighters in IraqViolence in Iraq has reached a level not seen since 2008, when the country was just emerging from a brutal period of sectarian killings Middle East
Another dark Christmas for Iraq’s ChristiansAt least 34 people died in bomb attacks in Christian areas on Christmas day Features
Christmas festivities in IraqIraqi Christian take part in Christmas celebrations at a church in the northern city of Arbil. Perspective
Bomb attacks on Christians in Baghdad kill 37The Christmas Day attacks brought the total number of people killed so far this month in Iraq to 441 Middle East
On Iraq’s executionsThis week’s guest is Iraq’s Minister of Human Rights Mohammad Shia al-Sudani. Al-Sudani responds to international rights organizations ... Point Of Order
Deadly attack on Iraqi journalists claimed by al-QaedaIraq has come in for repeated criticism over the lack of media freedom and the number of unsolved killings of journalists Print
Five journalists killed in attack on Iraq TV stationsGunmen stormed the headquarters of al-Iraqia and Salaheddin television station in Tikrit Middle East