Suicide Bomber Kills Iraqi Sunni MP

Posted January 15th, 2013 at 7:55 am (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

Iraqi officials say a Sunni lawmaker has been killed in a suicide bombing in western Anbar province.

Ifan al-Issawi died Tuesday when a suicide bomber detonated explosives in the restive city of Fallujah, west of Baghdad.

The attack comes amid rising anti-government protests, mostly by Sunnis, that have rocked Iraq since December.

Many Sunnis are calling for Shi'ite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to step down. They also want the release of detainees they say are being held without trial – and the suspension of an anti-terrorism law they say targets Sunnis unfairly.

Mr. Maliki's Shi'ite supporters have also taken to the streets in what is becoming escalating sectarian strife.

The protests began in Sunni-dominated Anbar after the army arrested the bodyguards of Sunni Finance Minister Rafa al-Issawi.

He is the most high profile Sunni Cabinet member since Sunni Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi was dismissed from office, accused of running death squads. A death warrant has been issued against Hashemi in absentia. He says the charges are trumped up for political reasons.

Provincial elections are set to take place in April and analysts expect the unrest to continue until then.