World Bulletin / News Desk
Iraqi troops fired shots in the air to disperse Sunni Muslims rallying against Shi'ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki on Monday in another day of protests threatening to upset the fragile cross-sectarian government.
Thousands of protesters have taken to the streets in Sunni strongholds across Iraq for more than two weeks.
In the northern city of Mosul, Iraqi troops fired shots over hundreds of protesters trying to gather in a public square, and in the Sunni heartland province of Anbar, at least 5,000 more people took to the streets peacefully.
"Security forces opened fire and used batons to disperse demonstrators," said Atheel al-Nujaifi, governor of Nineveh province, which includes Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of the capital Baghdad.
He said one demonstrator had been hit by a security forces vehicle and others had been wounded. Ghanim al-Abid, a protest organizer in Mosul, told Reuters, that at least four people had been wounded by security forces.
Demonstrators have blocked a major highway leading through the remote Anbar desert to Syria's border since late December when Maliki's forces arrested bodyguards protecting Finance Minister Rafaie al-Esawi, a leading Sunni figure.
The bodyguard arrests touched off protests by tens of thousands of Sunnis who feel sidelined by Maliki.
The protests are increasing pressure on Maliki over Iraq's power-sharing deal amoung Shi'ite, Sunni and Kurdish blocs.
Sunni demands range from fixing failing public services to amending anti-terror laws they say are abused to target their community. Maliki has made some concessions such as releasing some detainees, but protests continue daily.
Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby downplayed any disconnect with the White House and said U.S. officials were constantly reviewing Syria options
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Tension has run high across the occupied West Bank since the Wednesday shooting of an extremist Jewish rabbi in Jerusalem
A perforation made in a subterranean water source during mining activities seemed to have caused the flooding
Al-Ahram said Egyptian authorities asked Moussa Ibrahim to leave the country at the request of the Libyan government of Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni
A fire broke out at France's public radio headquarters in Paris, forcing live programmes off the air as staff evacuated the vast Paris complex where major building work has been underway
Rula Ghani, spouse of Afghanistan's new president Ashraf Ghani, have already critised some Islamic norms welcomed by Afghan society.
At least 300 ISIL militants were killed and scores of vehicles captured in clashes
South Sudan has been shaken by violence since last December, when Kiir accused sacked vice president Riek Machar of leading a failed coup attempt against his regime.
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Erekat's statement came during a meeting with foreign officials in the West Bank city of Jericho
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Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani's comments show how the threat posed by ISIL has pushed some Shi'ites and Sunnis to overcome their sectarian differences and face a common enemy
The fresh violence comes amid rising tension in the holy city after Israel closed the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound
The absence of the three Muslim leaders means that only the majority Orthodox Christian countries will be represented