[QODLink]
Middle East

Protesters in deadly clash with Iraqi police

Police sources say armed men opened fire on special forces trying to enter Ramadi to dismantle Sunni protest camp there.

Last updated: 30 Dec 2013 22:31
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Police are a favoured target of armed Sunni groups opposed to the Shia-led government [Reuters]

Several people have been killed in fighting that broke out when Iraqi police moved to dismantle a Sunni Muslim protest camp in Anbar province, according to police and medical sources.

Police sources said the clashes broke out on Monday when armed men opened fire on police special forces trying to enter Ramadi, the western Iraqi city where the protest camp is located.

Shooting and blasts were heard in parts of the city. The assailants destroyed four police vehicles and killed at least three policemen in the north of Ramadi, one source said.

The bodies of 10 other people killed in the clashes were brought into Ramadi's morgue, hospital and morgue sources told Reuters news agency.

Separately, assailants in Anbar attacked army patrols deployed along the main highway in Fallujah leading to Ramadi.

Sources told Al Jazeera that a total of 23 people died in Monday's violence in Anbar, with another 20 wounded.

Among the dead in Ramadi were 10 protesters and three police officers. In Fallujah, 10 civilians, four of them children, died and 20 others were injured.

Lieutenant-General Mohammed al-Askari, Iraqi Defence Ministry spokesman, told state television the decision to remove the camp came after tribal leaders and local government and Defence Ministry officials reached a deal.

Some police sources and local officials in Ramadi said tents were still standing in the camp although police and army forces had surrounded the area.

Ali Mussawi, spokesman for Nouri al-Maliki, prime minister of Iraq's Shia-led government, told AFP that military sources confirmed local police and tribes "completed the removal of the tents that were [at] the site, and opened the road that was closed."

This was done "without any losses, after al-Qaeda and its members escaped from the camp to the city, and they are being pursued now," Mussawi said.

The UN called for restraint.

"I am concerned about the current developments in Anbar and call on all to remain calm and to abide by the agreements reached in the course of the last two days," Nickolay Mladenov, UN envoy to Iraq, said in a statement.

339

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Muslim charities claim discrimination after major UK banks began closing their accounts.
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Featured
US drones in Pakistan have killed thousands since 2004. How have leaders defended or decried these deadly planes?
Residents count the cost of violence after black American teenager shot dead by white Missouri police officer.
EU's poorest member state is struggling to cope with an influx of mostly war-weary Syrian refugees.
Study says tipping point reached as poachers kill 7 percent of African elephants annually; birth rate is 5 percent.
Zimbabwe's leader given rotating chairmanship of 15-member nation bloc a year after he won disputed presidential polls.
join our mailing list