At least three people were killed on Friday (January 25) when Iraqi troops opened fire during clashes in Falluja city with Sunni protesters rallying against Shi'ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, officials and witnesses said.
It was the most serious violence since Sunni protesters began taking to the streets in late December to challenge Maliki's Shi'ite-led government and rally against what they see as the marginalisation of their minority sect.
"We received three bodies with gunshot wounds in the abdomen, back and shoulder," a hospital source told Reuters.
A Reuters witness at the scene said troops initially fired in the air to disperse crowds, but later some soldiers fired shots at protesters who approached their military vehicles and set one of them on fire.
Iraq troops open fire on protesters (0:37)
Jan. 25 - At least three are dead after Iraqi troops opened fire during clashes with Sunni anti-government protesters in Falluja. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). ( Transcript )