World Bulletin / News Desk
Chanting "No" to Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, tens of thousands of Sunni Muslims protested after Friday prayers in huge rallies against the Shi'ite premier that are raising the spectre of renewed sectarian unrest.
Sunni Muslim outrage erupted in late December over what protesters see as abuses and discrimination against their minority sect since the fall of Saddam Hussein and the rise of the country's Shi'ite majority.
Waving the old three-star Iraqi flag from Saddam's era, Sunni clerics, tribal sheikhs and young protesters called for reform of anti-terrorism laws they say security forces abuse to target Sunnis and unfairly detain prisoners.
Maliki has offered concessions, and freed hundreds of prisoners. But Sunni protesters have grown more defiant after soldiers opened fire at a Falluja city rally, killing five people a week ago.
"We will never forget what the army did to us, not only last Friday, but all of their behaviour has been sectarian against us," Omar Al-Jumaili, 51, in Falluja city. "Our new demand; the Iraqi army should leave this area."
The protests are evolving in the most serious test yet for Maliki and his fragile government that splits posts among Shi'ite, Sunni and ethnic Kurds, who were already deadlocked over how to share power for more than a year.
Islamic State of Iraq, still active after years of losses against American soldiers, has also urged Sunni protesters to take up arms.
A year after the last American troops pulled out, sectarian tensions are still raw in the OPEC country, where Shi'ite on Sunni violence killed tens of thousands of people just a few years after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.
Maliki has appointed a senior Shi'ite figure to talk to demonstrators about demands such as an amnesty law and easing of so-called de-Baathification campaign against former members of Saddam's outlawed Baath party.
Iraq's vice premier Saleh al-Mutlaq, a Sunni, said a meeting on Friday with Maliki's Shi'ite National Alliance coalition and Sunni-backed Iraqiya had been positive on proposed reforms.
"We can say there was a progress in this meeting, which may be hasn't happened in the previous ones," he said.
The Sunni unrest broke out just as Baghdad is struggling also with a dispute with the autonomous Kurdistan region over oil and land rights. That has complicated Maliki's attempts to build alliances with Sunni and Kurdish leaders.
An Indonesian air force spokesman said all passengers were unharmed and being taken off the aircraft at Denpasar, in Bali.
History plays a big part, especially in eastern Germany where criticism of NATO is harsher and where feelings are stronger that the West must reach an understanding with Russia.
Dressed all in white, he was flanked by his top aide, Amit Shah, who was briefly banned from campaigning over inflammatory comments against Muslims he made this month
Interior minister Avakov dismissed talk that Kiev suspended its "anti-terrorist operation" (ATO) in the face of threats from Moscow
Hamid Mir issues his first statement days after being shot six times by assailants in Karachi.
Fears mount that the country's lengthy political crisis could move into a more violent phase.
Peace talks between the FARC guerrillas and Colombia government enter 24th round but rumors of military force reductions take the focus off the established agenda.
A senior official admits there’s a problem even after Argentina’s president downplays the concerns.
Obama and Abe had ordered their top aides to make a final push to reach a trade agreement after the leaders met
Interfax news agency quoted witnesses as saying a bomb was thrown at the checkpoint from a passing car, though this was not confirmed by police
As a conference on global Internet governance concludes in Sao Paulo, President Dilma Rousseff is praised for Brazil's new Internet bill and says the government will not insist on Internet companies having data centers in the country.
A record 7210 police cadets joined Kenya's nearly 35,000 police force in April.
Two former U.S. soldiers testified at the pre-trial hearing of a one-time comrade charged with killing two unarmed Iraqi boys
U.S. officials have grown increasingly impatient with what they describe as Russia's failure to live up to its commitments in an April 17 agreement reached in Geneva to try to de-escalate the crisis
Congress will need to approve the move before it goes through.
The pictures, flowers and spaces are banked up the entire wall of a gymnasium near Danwon High School in Ansan, on the outskirts of Seoul.