At least 14 killed in Iraq protest site raid, 44 MPs resign in wake of violence
An Iraqi troop stationed in Anbar to crackdown on Al Qaeda activity (File Archive/AFP)
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At least 14 people were killed in Iraq's Anbar province while government authorities "dismantled" the Sunni Arab protest camp that Iraqi President Nour Al Maliki had previously described as a headquarter for Al Qaeda, according to Agence France-Presse.
A doctor from the Ramadi hospital located near the protest site said 10 were killed and 30 more were wounded in fighting Monday.
On Tuesday, three gunmen and an Iraqi army sniper were killed.Three other militants were wounded.
Government helicopters were deployed to the camp and gunmen burned two security authority vehicles and seized a third. Fighting has allegedly spread to the nearby city of Fallujah as well, according to the AFP report.
In response to the clashes at the camp and a raid on a Sunni lawmaker earlier this week, 44 Iraqi MPs announced their resignation Monday evening.
Some of the lawmakers have also demanded “the withdrawal of the army ... and the release of MP Ahmad al-Alwani,” the Sunni MP who was arrested during the fatal raid Saturday.
Demonstrators have been stationed at the camp for more than a year following the arrest of guards of the former Sunni Finance Minister Rafa Al Essawi on terrorism charges. The arrest was largely viewed by Sunnis as "yet another examples of the Shiite-led government targeting on of their leaders."
The government confirmed that it "successfully" removed the tents at the site despite the spike in violent clashes.