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Fallujah protestors killed by Iraqi army

At least five demonstrators were shot dead in the Iraqi city of Fallujah on 25 January as a Sunni anti-government protest came into conflict with the Iraqi army, who were blocking their way or trying to disperse them.

The crowd reportedly threw bottles of water and stones at the soldiers, who responded with live fire. According to Reuters, some shooting occurred after protestors set a military vehicle on fire, but it is not clear whether this happened after protestors had already been killed.

The killing (by US soldiers) of 15 unarmed demonstrators in Fallujah in April 2003 is believed by many commentators to have been the spark that started the armed Sunni insurgency against the US occupation.

One of those killed on 25 January has been named as Omar Ali Al-Ani. In April 2003, six members of a family named Al-Ani, who lived next to the school at the centre of the massacre, were all shot, one fatally, one losing his foot.

Sunnis have been mounting large protests for weeks against the Shia-led government, alleging discrimination in employment and in the application of various laws.

A minority, Sunnis enjoyed considerable privilege under the rule of Saddam Hussein.

Topics: Iraq