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Iraqi protestors block highway to Jordan, Syria - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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FALLUJAH, Iraq (AP) — Witnesses say thousands of protesters have demonstrated in Iraq’s western Sunni heartland following the arrest of bodyguards assigned to the finance minister, who draws support from the area.

The demonstrators Sunday briefly blocked the main highway near the town of Fallujah linking Baghdad with neighboring Jordan and Syria. It’s the second time in three days that protesters in Anbar province have flocked to the streets.

The protestors held banners denouncing what they called the “irresponsible practices” of the Shiite-led government against Sunnis and demanded the immediate release of Sunni Finance Minister Rafia al-Issawi’s bodyguards.

On Friday, Iraq’s Shiite-led government said it had arrested 10 of al-Issawi’s bodyguards on terrorism-related charges. This threatens to exacerbate tensions with Iraq’s Sunnis, who accuse Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki of targeting and marginalizing them.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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