Iraqi forces arrest MP, kill brother, 3 guards during raid

Iraqi forces arrest MP, kill brother, 3 guards during raid

PanARMENIAN.Net - Iraqi forces have arrested an MP, killing his brother and at least three of his guards during a raid on his home in the western city of Ramadi, according to BBC News.

Ahmed al-Awlani, a member of the Sunni community, was wanted on terrorism charges. He had also backed protests against the mainly Shia government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

Police said Awlani's guards opened fire as officers arrived to detain him. Another 18 people were wounded in the ensuing skirmish, an official said.

Some reports suggest that a sister of the MP - a member of the Sunni-backed Iraqiya bloc - was also among those killed in the raid.

"Army troops with police special forces were trying to arrest Awlani from his house, but fierce fighting erupted. Five bodies, including one woman, were taken to Falluja hospital," one police source told Reuters news agency.

The arrest comes as Iraq remains in the grip of sectarian fighting which has made this the deadliest year since 2008.

More than 8,000 people have been killed since January, many of them in fighting between Sunni and Shia Muslims.

The UN has called on Iraq's political leaders to co-operate to end the bloodshed, which has escalated since an army raid on a Sunni Arab anti-government protest camp in April 2013.

The protesters had called for the resignation of Mr Maliki, who they accused of targeting the minority Sunni community.

The government has made some concessions in an effort to placate Sunnis, including freeing some prisoners and raising the salaries of Sahwa militiamen fighting al-Qaeda, but the violence has not abated.

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