Two wounded in Iraqi protests by deputy PM's bodyguards
Two people have been wounded in Ramadi, Iraq, after the deputy prime minister's bodyguards fired warning shots at demonstrators who were throwing stones at his convoy, Al Jazeera reported on Sunday.
Witnesses said the Sunni protestors were attacking the convoy, despite the fact that the minister himself is a Sunni. Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlaq was in the Western city to try to calm tensions after a week of growing protests.
However, the demonstrators were not prepared to listen to al-Mutlaq and shouted: "Leave! Leave!" at him.
Sunday marked the seventh day in a spate of increasingly widescale protests by Iraqi Sunnis, who claim they are being marginalized by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's Shia-led government.
They have repeatedly called for his downfall, using the same slogans as those chanted in Arab Spring protests.
The deputy prime minister claimed he was greated with "great warmth" by the protestors on Sunday and that a few "rogue elements" had attempted to assassinate him.
However, Saeed al-Lafi, spokesman for the protestors, told Reuters that this was not the case: "It's only now Mutlaq comes to attend the protest and after seven days. He came to undermine the protest," he said.