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News Analysis: Growing sectarian tension in Iraq claims thousands of civilian lives

English.news.cn   2013-07-02 20:13:58            

"Such attacks would show that the government and its security forces are not capable of protecting civilians, and would also deepen division and polarization among the Iraqi factions," Sheikh added.

Tensions and violence have been escalating between the Sunni and Shiite communities since late December 2012, when the Sunni Muslims started their protests against the Shiite-led government in six of Iraq's predominantly Sunni provinces and the Sunni districts in Baghdad.

The Sunnis accuse the government of marginalizing them, and claim that the Shiite-dominated Iraqi security forces were indiscriminately arresting and torturing their sons.

However, April 23 was a turning point in the bloodshed of the war-torn country when Iraqi security forces backed by helicopters stormed an anti-government Sunni protest in the city of Hawijah, some 220 km north of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, killing and wounding dozens of protestors.

The military operation against the sit-in camp in Hawijah sparked further clashes across the country's predominantly Sunni provinces between the Sunni tribes and the security forces.

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Editor: Bi Mingxin
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