At least 26 killed in Kirkuk after raid on Sunni protesters
Tuesday, April 23, 2013 - 01:17
April 23 - At least 26 people are killed after Iraqi forces and Sunni protesters exchange gunfire during raid on an anti-government rally in Kirkuk, military sources say. Sarah Sheffer reports.
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Sirens blaring, emergency vehicles rush to a Kirkuk hospital after a deadly raid by Iraqi security forces on a Sunni Muslim anti-government protest camp on Tuesday.
At least 26 people are dead and scores wounded after a gun battle between the two sides, according to military sources.
Iraq's defence ministry had no official death toll and said troops responded after coming under fire from gunmen in the makeshift camp.
Protest leaders said they were unarmed when security forces opened fire during the early morning raid.
Though demonstrators and officials gave conflicting accounts, military sources said six troops and 20 demonstrators were killed in the clashes.
Thousands of Sunni Muslims have staged regular protests for months to demand an end to perceived marginalisation by Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's Shi'ite-led government.
Many Sunnis say they have been sidelined since the U.S.-led 2003 invasion that ousted Sunni strongman Saddam Hussein that allowed the Shi'ite majority to gain power through elections.
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