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Clashes Between Iraqi Forces, Sunni Demonstrators Kill 23

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Clashes between Iraqi security forces and Sunni demonstrators have killed at least 23 people and wounded dozens more.

Local and military officials say the fighting Tuesday in Hawija, near Kirkuk, began when security forces tried to arrest people at a protest camp, and that at least two soldiers are among the dead from a gun battle.

The clashes are among the fiercest since thousands of Sunni protesters began staging demonstrations to demand an end to perceived discrimination by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's Shi'ite-led government.



Sunni activists want Mr. Maliki to step down, accusing the government of arbitrarily arresting Sunni opponents and holding them without charges.

Iraq's Education Minister Mohammed Tamim, a Sunni Muslim, submitted his resignation on Tuesday in protest at the raid, the deputy prime minister's office said in a statement.

U.N. envoy Martin Kobler on Monday had called for calm in the area. He urged security forces to exercise restraint and for protesters to preserve peaceful demonstrations.

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